Election brings change - Coeur d'Alene Press: Political

Election brings change

Ousted incumbents make plans for time after current term ends

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2010 12:00 am

COEUR d'ALENE - The final election results on Wednesday marked the last term for two long installed incumbents, with voters unseating both Rick Currie, district 2 county commissioner for eight years, and Dan English, county clerk for 15 years.

"I'm disappointed," Currie said on Wednesday morning, as he continued dismantling his election signs. "The national Republican party, which did very well, it just sort of resonated into the local elections."

A write-in candidate, Currie only snagged 15 percent of the vote, or 5,370 votes. He was easily defeated by Jai Nelson, a Republican businesswoman from Coeur d'Alene, who brought in 85 percent with 30,899 votes.

English, a Rathdrum Democrat, only brought in 16,290 votes. His opponent Cliff Hayes, a Republican and retired Post Falls police chief, netted in 24,935 votes.

There was a 60 percent voter turnout in Kootenai County.

Although a Republican himself, Currie said it was asking a lot for voters to write in his name instead of just marking Republican bubbles.

"I think the nation just went right down the ballot and checked, 'Republican, Republican,'" he said.

Looking back on his years since being elected in 2002, Currie pointed to achievements like helping launch the Citylink transit, and contracting with Kootenai Electric to use landfill methane for electricity.

"We've done some great things," he said.

After the term runs out in January on his $70,000 a year job, he plans to pursue a new business, while still contributing to his family's financing and property management business.

He doesn't know if he'll run again.

For now, there is the county Comprehensive Plan to finish, Currie added.

"I still have a job to do," he said.

Nelson is already preparing for the commissioner seat she will take over the first week of January.

She plans to immediately pursue the ideas she campaigned about, she said, like reviewing the county budget and creating a temporary freeze on property tax based budget increases.

"I've got a lot of things I want to accomplish," she said. "I just want to thank my supporters in how hard they worked through two elections to get me in."

English said he was disappointed to lose after such a long tenure as clerk.

"I would've liked to have had at least one more term to envision some of the programs (planned)," he said. "On the other hand, I certainly respect the way the election process works, and I'm very grateful for the time that I had."

His greatest achievements over his decade and a half in office include helping create the elections law for multiple absentee voting sites, he said. He also made Kootenai County among the first to post live elections results online.

"I certainly felt good about the work that I did in all the departments," he said.

He doesn't have plans after his term runs out, he said, though running again is a hazy possibility.

His current priority is showing the ropes to Hayes, English said. No small task, as the clerk - for an annual salary of $69,000 - oversees elections, district court and much of the county's finances.

"I certainly admit there will be some stress relief," he said with a laugh.

Hayes thinks he came out ahead because of recent incidents surrounding the clerk's office, like the Coeur d'Alene City Council election challenge, and problems with revenue distribution to taxing districts.

Hayes already plans to pursue changes to some election laws, he said.

"There are so many little things that just seem to go through the cracks because they're not addressed properly in the law," said Hayes, who only plans to serve one term. "I'm looking forward to serving the county residents."

Wednesday also saw a new county coroner elected. Hayden Republican Debbie Wilkey netted 66 percent of the votes with 26,918 votes, while Democrat Jody DeLuca Hissong garnered 34 percent with 13,851 votes.

Wilkey, who has been deputy coroner since 2004, is a registered nurse with a master's in forensic anthropology. She believes her background appealed to voters.

"It's my intention that the legacy of the current coroner doesn't end with him," Wilkey said of Dr. Robert West, retiring after this term. "I'll use everything I have to make sure you get the best cause of death."

The county coroner earns a salary of $61,537.

Hissong, chief deputy coroner for nearly 30 years, said she was surprised by the results.

"Partisan politics ruled the world yesterday, when this particular office shouldn't even be partisan," she said.

She preferred not to disclose her next career step, she said, but she won't be running again.

"Never. This killed me," she said. "I have too thin a skin."

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • fiepie posted at 7:08 am on Sat, Nov 6, 2010.

    fiepie Posts: 3051

    ancientemplar...I think you are right...there is a difference between tea partyers and republicans, isn't there?
    It will be interesting to see which is in control in the next year or so....

  • ancientemplar posted at 6:46 pm on Fri, Nov 5, 2010.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1281

    Rove is GOP not Tea Party, he's just like Lindsey Graham...TOAST. No more room for RINOs on the right.

  • JoeIdaho posted at 9:36 am on Fri, Nov 5, 2010.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Poor "Native". Did you enjoy watching the Demorats get CRUSHED the other night, Native?
    Get USED TO IT.

    The most crooked & corrupt anti-American in our country is bumbama.

  • local res posted at 7:08 am on Fri, Nov 5, 2010.

    local res Posts: 1165

    Idaho Native, I finally have you figured out. I now understand why you are so miserable. You are simply a western Washington person trapped in a Idaho body. I recommend a transplant.

  • local res posted at 11:18 pm on Thu, Nov 4, 2010.

    local res Posts: 1165

    Idaho Native? Right across the border they are lookin for people just like you, move

  • idaho native posted at 9:38 pm on Thu, Nov 4, 2010.

    idaho native Posts: 551


    what does you$R tea-party-KKKarl think?

    Rove said it will be difficult for Obama to take a combative tone because his party still controls the Senate. Rove also believes that the new Republican House "isn't going to give him a lot of targets – they're going to be positive and optimistic and move an agenda."

    "It's going to be interesting to see where he(obama) comes down," he said.

    Rove said the Republicans' control of a majority of state legislative bodies – 19 of 99 state legislative houses switched to the GOP on Tuesday, including the Pennsylvania House – would ensure that the party would expand its control in Washington through upcoming Congressional redistricting. The GOP's success in state house races gives the party much more command over setting new district lines for the next decade.

    hummmmmm.....sheep still lock-steppin' to the slaughter.

  • idaho native posted at 9:11 pm on Thu, Nov 4, 2010.

    idaho native Posts: 551

    this is why the tea party is seen as the tea-bagger pa$Rty:
    Climate is gone," said Rove, the keynote speaker on the opening day of a two-day shale-gas conference sponsored by Hart Energy Publishing L.L.P. And Rove told the trade show, "I don't think you need to worry" the new Congress will consider proposed legislation to put the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing under federal rather than state regulation. The procedure, known as "fracking," is responsible for the dramatic growth of shale-gas drilling in formations such as Pennsylvania's vast Marcellus Shale.

  • WannaBe JD posted at 10:24 am on Thu, Nov 4, 2010.

    WannaBe JD Posts: 110

    Rick your cry baby attitude no longer helps you. Jai creamed you even after your family hacks took their best low shots on her. Get over it and take a page out of Dan English's playbook, leave with class and honor.

  • ancientemplar posted at 9:00 am on Thu, Nov 4, 2010.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1281

    Sounds like Currie's sour grapes. He should stand aside and not fuss with the comp plan. Its a mess and he led the charge.
    English, Dano's most proud of the election law he helped establish. Well if he thinks its a feather in his cap, then he shouldn't even wear a cap. The election laws in Idaho are a mess.
    Hissong, nearly 30 years, you should have moved on 5-7 years ago. Blaming the Republicans, get a grip.

  • 3Cheers posted at 9:00 am on Thu, Nov 4, 2010.

    3Cheers Posts: 478

    Since Hissong has "too thin a skin"- it's a good thing she wasn't elected as coroner.

  • RadRevD posted at 8:44 am on Thu, Nov 4, 2010.

    RadRevD Posts: 3333

    what change???

    I see new puppets to hand out money in a controlled manner.
    Those who control the money supply will still get their take off the top.

  • lisser posted at 8:30 am on Thu, Nov 4, 2010.

    lisser Posts: 25

    I guess this means the huge "Vote out Rick Currie" sign I've been driving past off and on for the last 3 years, on the way to my house will FINALLY be take down!

  • JoeIdaho posted at 7:27 am on Thu, Nov 4, 2010.

    JoeIdaho Posts: 2841

    Agree with Local Res totally.
    Once Currie lost the Primary, and continued to run, I saw hmi as anothe Lisa Murkowski.
    Currie didn't accept his defeat, and I certainly voted against him. Would do it again, too.

  • local res posted at 6:48 am on Thu, Nov 4, 2010.

    local res Posts: 1165

    Rick, you still don't get it. We wotd you thanks but no thanks in the primary election. You complained about how the primary went, but you also accepted that method when you came to office. I have voted for you in the past, but could not vote for you this time. I am one person that did not approve of you continuing to run after losing the primary.

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard