Posted: Nov 7, 2012 12:40 PM by Dennis Bragg - MTN News
THOMPSON FALLS - A candidate who unexpectedly died from a heart ailment two weeks ago ended up capturing more than 42% of the vote in Sanders County.
Ron Olfert was challenging incumbent County Public Administrator Beth Rice-Groshong in her bid for another term, but he died from a blocked artery Oct. 19. That was too late for his name to be removed from the printed ballots.
Despite publicity that Olfert couldn't actually "win" the race, the Plains man captured 2,177 votes in Tuesday's polling. Rice-Groshong won another term with 2,893 votes for over 56% of the ballots cast.
Sanders County election officials say there's only a handful of provisional ballots still to count.
Olfert had run for county commissioner in 2010 and was well know for his advocacy for conservative causes.
Elsewhere in Sanders County, voters returned veteran County Commissioner Carol Brooker to another term. Brooker finished with over 55% of the vote against challenger Greg Hinckle.
Brooker has served since 1994, representing District 1, which stretches from south Plains to Thompson Falls.