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Rossi surprised Dean Logan allowed to run LA elections

Dino Rossi. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

After hearing that 118,000 voters were left out of the California primary due to a printing error in Los Angeles County — an election run by former King County Elections Director Dean Logan — former 45th Leg. Dist. Senator and Eighth Congressional Dist. candidate Dino Rossi (R-Sammamish) said that he wasn’t surprised at the botched job, but was shocked that Logan was allowed to run another county election system.

“How can you be that incompetent and get promoted to run such a large elections operation?” he said. “It just makes no sense.”

RELATED: Rossi plans to fight Sound Transit if elected to Congress

Logan headed King County Elections in 2004, when Rossi ran against Christine Gregoire for governor. Rossi won on the first round of counts — but because the margin was just 261 votes, a recount was automatically required.

In the next round, Rossi said, he won by just 48 votes. After that, he explained, one party can pay for a manual recount, which is considered the final count.

“Moveon.org and the [Service Employees International Union] paid for a hand recount, and they flipped it by 129 votes,” Rossi said.

Rossi recalled that after this, he was told to “sit down and shut up,” but, he quipped, “I didn’t sit down and shut up.”

He and the state Republican Party sued, and in the subsequent court battle, uncovered some hidden truths about the election. According to Rossi, it was found that 1,400 felons and 19 dead people had voted.

“King County counted something like 1,800 more votes than they actually had voters,” Rossi said with a laugh. “So I came out and I said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to be pushy here, but I think every vote ought to have a voter.'”

The investigation, Rossi said, also uncovered “3,600 ballots they knew that were not legitimate.”

“They had 875 more absentee votes than [absentee] voters,” Rossi described. He noted that precincts with a Republican majority were actually missing absentee ballots, but Democratic precincts mysteriously had an abundance of absentee ballots.

After the Chelan County Superior Court upheld Gregoire’s win, Rossi said, the only option would have been to take the suit to the State Supreme Court. However, as the court was made up of mostly Democrats, this “would have just cost a few million dollars to get the same answer.”

“Sometimes things in life are not fair,” he remembered telling his children at the time. “About the only fair the Rossi family is going to see this year is the state fair in Puyallup.”

Looking ahead, he currently has his eye on a different governmental position — Eighth Congressional District representative. The seat is currently held by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), who announced last year that he was stepping down to spend more time with his family.

Since the 2016 national election, the district has seen its fair share of anti-Reichert protests, but Rossi is confident that he can reach across the aisle to appeal to constituents across the spectrum.

“I have the skills to do this — as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, I was the one that balanced the biggest deficit in state history without raising taxes and still protected the vulnerable, and actually worked across party lines to do it,” he said. “I think those are things that are in short supply in D.C. right now.”

Regardless of politics, Rossi said that he is very grateful for his family and his life’s other blessings, and has nothing to complain about.

“Everything in my life has always worked out for the best, and I’ve always had faith that it would … My life is good and I am very blessed,” he said.

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