OKANOGAN – A few Okanogan County voters expressed their dissatisfaction with the slate of primary election candidates by writing in real people’s names, animals, cartoon characters and opinion statements.
A couple of the Founding Fathers even received votes.
The Okanogan County list of write-in votes numbered 565 spread across positions from U.S. senator to Okanogan County treasurer.
In the race for U.S. senator, 34 write-in votes were cast – only slightly more than there were real candidates on the ballot.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., faced 27 challengers.
Voters evidently didn’t like any of the senatorial hopefuls, instead casting votes for “candidates” ranging from Anybody But to No Vote, Nobody, None of the Above, Bobby McGee, George Washington, Lisa Brown, Mickey Mouse, Pedro and Santa Claus.
When considering incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-4th District, and his Democratic challenger, Christine Brown, 30 voters opted to write in Anybody Else, Anyone but Newhouse, Ben Franklin, former congressional candidates Clint Didier and Joe Pakootas, President Donald Trump, the late financier and banker JP Morgan, Kermit the Frog, senatorial candidate Mohammad Said, New Vision, No, Reject both Candidates, Someone Better and other choices.
Both front-runners in the 5th District – Republican incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Democrat Lisa Brown – also received votes in the 4th District. Brown also received three votes for U.S. senator and a smattering of votes for other positions.
Eight voters cast their ballots for someone other than incumbent 7th District Sen. Shelly Short or her challenger, Democrat Karen Hardy.
Votes went to Dan Hallenius, Donald Trump, John J. Brown, Luke Wisdom, Morgan Stanley, No Faith, Oscar Acosta and Tom Jefferson.
For the 7th District state representative position held by Jacquelin Maycumber, eight voters picked someone besides Maycumber or her challenger, Randall (Randy) Michaelis.
Ethan Hawke, James Madison, Luke Wisdom, Neither, None, Not Good, Reject Candidates and Ruth M. Nelson all received votes.
Similarly, 7th District Rep. Joel Kretz and his three challengers missed out on six votes as voters cast write-in ballots for A. Lincoln, Bear Brown, David Lindeblad, Don L. Rivers, None and Where’s Good.
In the 12th District, 10 votes went to people or opinions other than the four candidates seeking the position being vacated by Rep. Cary Condotta, R-Wenatchee.
The same was true in the other District No. 12 race for Rep. Mike Steele’s post. Eight voters opted for someone other than Steel or his two challengers, with Ron Gadeberg, who works for the Okanogan County Public Utility District, garnering three of those votes.
County-level candidates were not immune from write-in voters.
Larry Gilman, who is running unopposed for assessor, lost 194 votes to a variety of write-in causes and “candidates,” ranging from A Democrat and Anyone but Him to former President Barack Obama, game show host Bob Barker, 2014 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Cujo (My Dog), former PUD commissioner Ernest Bolz, Impeach Trump, actor Jack Black, Okanogan County Community Action Executive Director Lael Duncan, Wenatchee Valley College at Omak employee Livia Millard, First Lady Melania Trump, Moral Integrity, My Dog, Oprah, Prince John, Okanogan teacher Ron Cate, Satan, retiring assessor Scott Furman, singer Willie Nelson and cartoon characters Bullwinkle, Minnie Mouse, Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, Rocky Raccoon and Yosemite Sam.
The auditor’s race between Republicans Randy Gates and Cari Hall had similar response, with 119 voters casting write-in ballots for everyone from Any Democrat to Bernie Sanders, prosecutor Branden E. Platter, Superior Court Judge Hank Rawson, 2014 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, everyman John Doe, My Cat, Twisp attorney Terry L. Karro and cartoon characters Boo Boo, Bullwinkle, Daffy Duck, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Goofy, Homer Simpson and Snoopy.
Cujo the dog received a vote, too.
The trend continued to the county clerk’s race, with people casting votes for Cujo, Okanogan teacher Aaron Nickelson, Anyone but a Republican, former president Bill Clinton, actress Charlize Theron, sheriff candidate Jeff Koplin, the late Jackie Bradley, county Commissioner Jim DeTro, No Clue, Tonasket attorney Tony Castelda and cartoon characters Waylon Smithers, Bullwinkle, Daffy Duck, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Popeye the Sailorman and Snow White.
Incumbent Republican Charleen Groomes is running unopposed for the post.
Thirteen voters didn’t like the choices for county commissioner – incumbent Republican Jim DeTro and challengers Salley Bull and Robert Fuchs, both indepenedents - while 139 picked someone other than incumbent and unopposed Coroner Dave Rodriguez.
In balloting, Rodriguez received the most votes of any candidate on the ballot, with 7,687 votes.
Aside from the usual assortment of No One and cartoon characters, TV coroner Quincy ME received two votes. Others getting votes for coroner included the Tidy Bowl Man, Victor Frankenstein and Oroville resident Raymond Ballard.
For prosecuting attorney, 33 voters snubbed Democratic incumbent Branden E. Platter and Republican challenger Arian Noma, and instead cast their ballots for everyone from public defender Melissa MacDougall to conservative talk show host Sean Hannity, sheriff candidate Steve Brown and frustrated Roadrunner chaser Wile E. Coyote.
Another 124 voters didn’t like any of the half-dozen sheriff candidates. Vote-getters included Abolish Police, Mad magazine character Alfred E. Newman (Neuman), singer Alice Cooper, Any Democrat, comedian Bill Cosby, legendary Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser, retiring Sheriff Frank Rogers, Godzilla, former sheriff Jim Weed, Matt Dillon (the voter didn’t specify the actor or the former TV sheriff on “Gunsmoke”), and cartoon characters Mr. Incredible, Quick Draw McGraw, Bullwinkle and Yosemite Sam.
Cujo the dog also got a vote, as did several former and current sheriff’s office deputies.
Another 124 voters opted for someone besides incumbent Republican Treasurer Leah McCormack.
Votes went to former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, Cujo the dog, former treasurer Del Shove, Infinity Symbol, actor-singer Jack Black, singer Lady Gaga, singer Ozzie Ozborn (Osbourne), Peter Pan, Pina Colada, Okanogan teacher Steve Streeter and cartoon characters Scrooge McDuck and Homer Simpson.