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Primary a marathon for candidates

| May 26, 2020 10:54 PM

I’ve been feeling empathy for all of the candidates with their names on the primary election ballot this year. Nothing has been normal in the three-month lead up to the election, which was supposed to take place on Tuesday, May 19. Stay-at-home orders and restrictions on gatherings put the kibosh on candidate forums, candidate meet-and-greets, and events for candidates to attend.

Then it was decided that everyone in Idaho would have to vote by mail and not in-person at their polling place. Instead May 19 became the deadline to request an absentee ballot until a crash of the Secretary of State’s website before the May 19 deadline prevented some citizens from the ability to request ballots — so Tuesday, May 26, became the deadline to request a ballot.

Completed ballots still must be received by the Kootenai County Elections Office on or before Tuesday, June 2. At 8 p.m. on that date the tabulating will begin and with any luck at all perhaps by midnight there will be results posted.

As someone who’s had their name on the ballot more than once I can tell you the longest day was election day. On that morning you wake up knowing and hoping that you’d done everything you could do and on that day the decision was in the hands of the people who would show up to vote. The hours between waking up and the polls closing and then a few more hours before any results would be known seemed an eternity.

Magnify that for the current candidates. With everyone voting by mail, you know how many people have requested a ballot but not when they will actually fill them out with their vote. My husband and I received our requested ballots on the same day but I voted a couple weeks before he did. For a candidate to plan mailers and advertisements it must have been akin to throwing a dart at a calendar. Election day sign waving for candidates could have been stretched out for weeks.

Sincere appreciation for those who’ve stepped into the arena to place their name on the ballot. The 2020 primary finish line is in sight.

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The first week of May my husband set up our backyard above-ground pool and filled it with 5,000 gallons of water. For the last couple of weeks we’ve had some sunny days but not many warm days and the overnight temps have hovered in the low 40s, not quite enough to warm up the water. The good news is that summer temperatures will pay us a visit this week but the 60-degree water temperature in the pool is still a wee bit chilly for me. That’s only 5 degrees warmer than the water in Lake Coeur d’Alene!

Since the official first day of summer is over three weeks away, patience will be a challenge.

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Take time this week to visit Falls Park and view the spectacular sight of the wide open gates at Avista’s Post Falls dam. There’s over 2,000 cubic feet per second roaring through the gates. Soon the gates will be closing to maintain the summer levels of Lake Coeur d’Alene.

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Happy Main Street birthdays today to Kenny Gabriel, Nancy Herold, Corey Wideen and Greg Gilliland. Tomorrow Shirlee Wandrocke, Michele Heuer, Tyson Bell, Scott Shellman, Barbara Jordan, Dane Dugan, Donnie Shuck, John Caylor, Melissa Feusier, Vance Ackley and Judy Padilla will celebrate. Louisa St John Durkin, Star Shewey, Tiffany Williams, Jeff Pryse, Butch Andrews, Donnie Shuck and Pehr Black blow out the birthday candles on Friday.

Matt Weaver, Justin Curtis, Sheila Spears, Jenny Prince, Chip Wideen, Chloe Fleming and Becky Bridges will take another trip around the sun on Saturday. Trey Barker III, Cindy Wood, Roger Beaulieu, Craig Singer, Lindsay Cantrell, Peggy Suenkel and Meredith Close celebrate on Sunday.

First day of June birthday wishes to Sandy Shopbell, Patrick Booth, Dave Stutzke, Shannon Coles, Debbie Costa, Patrick Booth, Drake Foster, Mason Alexander, Tresa Brown and Vicki White. Sharing June 2 birthdays are Al Williams, Mike and Mitch Alexander (50!), Nancy Mueller, Drake Foster, Brenda Walters, Irene Seidler and Nels Jensen.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press. Find Kerri on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com.