Final tally: Incumbent commissioners fall in Kootenai County

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Joyce Crettol casts her vote in the primary election Tuesday night at Ramsey Elementary School. (LOREN BENOIT/Press)

With turnout well above the norm in a Kootenai County primary election, voters might be considered the overall winners today.

But there were a handful of close, hard-fought contests among the candidates, too.
Challenger Bill Brooks, who pens the twice-weekly consumer column in The Press, led incumbent Kootenai County Commissioner Marc Eberlein from the start and held on for the win. Brooks pulled in 7,837 votes, 51.58 percent, to Eberlein’s 7,357. Brooks is the presumptive winner because there is no challenger for the seat in the November general election.
The other incumbent, Bob Bingham, also went down — hard. In a five-way race, Leslie Duncan collected almost 40 percent of the vote. Bingham finished second with 20.25 percent. Duncan will face Democrat Ruben Miranda and Libertarian Larry Pegg in November.
Other primary winners in contested races include:†

•First District Court Judge John Mitchell defeated challenger Douglas Pierce, but final numbers from throughout the five-county district were not available.

•On the Democrats' side, Alanna Brooks edged Richard Kohles 935-520 for state rep. District 2, Seat B.

•In November, Alanna Brooks will face John Green, who defeated Doug Okuniewicz 3,217-2,898 in the Republican primary.

Other GOP results:

•Incumbent Vito Barbieri beat Fritz Wiedenhoff 4,246-2,143 in the House race for District 2, Seat A.

•Tony Wisniewski nudged out Kathy Sims 2,593-2,083 for House Seat B in District 3.

•Incumbent Sen. Mary Souza defeated Michael S. Pereira 3,133-1,383 in District 4.

•Incumbent Rep. Paul Amador cruised past Roger Garlock, 3,077-1,407 in the race for District 4, Seat B.

As for turnout? Normal non-presidential primary year numbers are in the 20 percent range, but this time around, 29.5 percent of registered voters cast ballots, according to the Kootenai County Elections Office. That amounts to 22,705 votes from 76,980 registered voters.

The county posted final, unofficial numbers today at 1:38 a.m.

There will be plenty of follow-up on the primary election in Thursday's Press.

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