by Sheri Boggs, Michael Bowen, Mike Corrigan, Cara Gardner, Ted S. McGregor Jr., Joel Smith and Leah Sottile
All numbers as of Tuesday night
Congress, 5th District
Don Barbieri 74,152 / 39.8%
Cathy McMorris 112,152 / 60.2%
Party allegiance turned out to be thicker than blood in the 5th District race to fill the seat vacated by George Nethercutt. And it wasn't even really close, as Spokane's homegrown success story Don Barbieri was beaten by 20 points overall -- and by 14 points in Spokane County. It appears that in the 10 years since Tom Foley lost the seat, the 5th District has become significantly more conservative. Cathy McMorris has all the right qualities that conservatives were looking for, and in the end, that trumped business acumen and local roots.
Tom Coomes, a physician who voted at the Valleyford Fire Station was impressed with Barbieri's local roots. "He's done business here in Eastern Washington, and he has impressive business expertise."
Cathy Stevens, who voted at the Prince of Peace Church in the Indian Trail neighborhood, was one of the few to say party wasn't a big factor, saying she voted for Barbieri, but "I tend to vote for the person over the party."
Randy Hood also voted in Indian Trail, but chose McMorris for her values. "I try to look at integrity and conservative values. These seem to lie on the conservative side from my perspective."
And Richard McMichael, a minister and retired deputy sheriff who voted at the Sinto Senior Center, agreed: "I went for Cathy simply because of her moral issues and beliefs."
At Barbieri HQ on election night, tears ran and balloons didn't drop while the candidate gave a gracious concession speech. "We're taking our principles and will continue to make a difference in the community because we love it passionatley," he told the gathering.
From the back of the crowd, a man standing on a chair shouted, "Barbieri, we'll be here behind you in two years!" But for those in the crowd, two years seemed like an eternity.
U.S. Senate, Washington
Patty Murray 963,703 / 54.2%
George Nethercutt 778,494 / 43.8%
The Associated Press called this race just after the polls closed in Washington state. In the end, Spokane's former congressman lost the race because he failed to catch on in Western Washington, where the majority of the state's votes are cast. Perhaps it was that voters there didn't get enough time to get to know Nethercutt; maybe they liked Murray's seniority; or maybe they didn't like the fact that Nethercutt was from Eastern Washington. And Murray held her own in Nethercutt's backyard, only losing by two points to Nethercutt in Spokane County as of Tuesday night.
Here in the 5th District, Nethercutt had a lot of support among the voters we met on Tuesday. Lauren Cross, who brought her kids with her to vote in Liberty Lake, said her support for Nethercutt was simple: "Because I'm a Republican. "I voted for him before and did again." But she also liked some of his intangibles. "[I like that] he advocates diabetic issues."
David Williams, who also voted at Liberty Lake, showed a long memory in why he supported Murray. "Because I don't like what Nethercutt did on term limits. He's not a man of his word."
Chris Gregoire 857,926 / 49.3%
Dino Rossi 847,496 / 48.7%
Separated by about half a percent on election night, the Gregoire/Rossi race looked to be decided by late returns and absentees. In Spokane County, voters preferred Rossi, but not by a wide margin.
Cathy Stephens, a nurse who voted at the Prince of Peace Church in the Indian Trail neighborhood said Gregoire has been "one of the better politicians we've had in Washington and the only reason we've had decent health insurance. Health care is a critical issue for me."
Chae Reitz, who also voted in Indian Trail, chose Rossi. "I like him being a business person. It's seems like everyone in government is a lawyer. But I think it would be good for a businessperson with experience in business to be governor. I had a business for a while, and I didn't like what L & amp;I did to me."
Spokane Street Bond
Yes 33,560 / 61%
No 21,566 / 39%
Despite all the bad news, budget-wise, coming out of Spokane City Hall, voters appear to be finally fed up with bending their rims on local potholes. Maybe it's the new leadership, but it may be too early to tell, since the measure was just at 61 percent on Tuesday night -- 60 percent is required to pass a bond issue. West gambled on the big turnout, and it appears to have paid off. Many counseled that he should put the measure on the spring ballot, but so far his plan seems to have worked. If the tally holds up, nearly $120 million of long-overdue street repairs will be undertaken over the next decade.
Coming in just behind the Bush v. Kerry debate on the intensity scale, locals had plenty to say about the state of the streets.
"I voted no," said Carol Manion, 69, who cast her ballot at the Sinto Senior Center. "Year after year, we give [the city] money. Let's have them deal with it themselves."
"I've lived here my whole life, and the streets have always been s--," said Curtis Rew, a woodworker who also voted on the lower North Side. "This is the most ongoing hassle ever. I just come here and laugh and vote no."
"I voted to approve it," said Anna Carlson, who voted in Indian Trail, site of a recent road reconstruction project. "We have to do something about the streets."
"I voted against the 1 percent sales tax increase because I figured the West Side of the state would get most of the funding," said Holly (who didn't give her last name) outside the Manito United Methodist Church on South Grand Blvd. "But our streets need repairing, and I figured that if we have to fix our streets, at least the money would stay here in Spokane."
County Commissioner, Pos. 1
Todd Mielke 67,536 / 55%
Linda Wolverton 55,507 / 45%
County Commissioner, Pos. 2
Bill Burke 58,425 / 49%
Mark Richard 61,373 / 51%
With so many other races, candidates for county commissioner had a hard time getting voters' attention, and that was reflected at the ballot box.
David Williams, who voted in Liberty Lake, wasn't quite sure. "You know, I think I voted for Bill Burke. It was one of those toss-ups, you know?"
For others, it was a case of party loyalty. "Mark Richard," said Pat Lutzenberger outside the Liberty Lake Water and Sewer District Building. "I like him, and he's a Republican."
But the sentiments of Jill Smith at the Mead Fire Station on Farwell Road weren't shared by voters "I voted for Wolverton and Bill Burke because we need a balance there," Smith said. "I don't like who supports the other two. To have county commissioners who were all pro-development would be extremely scary."
Whether that's the case remains to be seen, but as of Tuesday night, it looks as if the board of county commissioners will be made up of three Republicans -- although Bill Burke is close enough to make a move when the more than 55,000 additional absentee ballots are counted this week.
State Senate, 3rd District
Lisa Brown 18,067 / 63%
Mike Casey 10,719 / 37%
State Senate, 6th District
Brad Benson 21,175 / 51%
Laurie Dolan 20,128 / 49%
In the two state Senate races that cover Spokane, the 3rd District went as expected to Lisa Brown. The 6th District seat, which has been traditionally Republican, was barely in that column on Tuesday night. With more than 55,000 absentee ballots left to count in Spokane County, there will be many more to count that will impact this race.