Primary Election Results For E. Washington County Commissioners

Aug 5, 2020

Mary Kuney is one of several county commissioners in eastern Washington that had a strong showing in Tuesday's primary election.
Credit Courtesy of Mary Kuney

Much of the attention for Tuesday’s primary election in Washington has gone to the nine statewide races. But the election also helped counties around the state narrow the fields for local county commission races.

In a few cases, Republican incumbents ran unopposed.

In Lincoln County, Scott Hutsell and Mark Stedman are each guaranteed another term. Same with Art Swannack in Whitman County.

Several Republican incumbents will have to run campaigns this fall, but will be heavily favored to win, based on Tuesday’s results. That list includes Wes McCart in Stevens County and Josh Kerns and Mary Kuney in Spokane County.

Some incumbents had a rough night, based on the first count of ballots. Ferry County Commissioner Howard Hambleton is losing by a two-to-one margin to fellow Republican Michael Heath. Adams County Commissioner John Marshall is in a similar situation, finishing a distant second to Republican Dan Blankenship. But it appears that at least they’ll be allowed to continue their campaigns. In Stevens County, Commissioner Steve Parker is running third in a five-way race, though he’s only a few dozen votes out of second.

Two incumbents are locked in tight races, but behind after the first count of ballots: Andy Hover in Okanogan County, who’s trailing Democrat Katie Haven, and Dean Kinzer in Whitman County, who’s behind Tom Handy, who claims membership in no party.

Several races are competitions for open seats, including two in Pend Oreille County. Republican Brian Smiley holds an almost two-to-one advantage over independent Paul Mahre and Republican John Gentle is about four points up on Democrat Phyllis Kardos, in a race between two people on the opposite sides of the proposed Newport smelter issue.

In Ferry County, Republicans Derek Gianukakis and Rick Diamond are vying for spots in the general election, with Democrat Shawn Davis close behind. And in Adams County, Republican Jay Weise holds a commanding lead over fellow Republican Ken Johnson.

There are more ballots to be counted over the next 10 days to two weeks.