Field Thins for Crowded Spokane Public School Board Races

Aug 3, 2021

The Spokane County Elections Office.
Credit Rebecca White/SPR

Voters overwhelmingly backed an Eastern Washington University professor and a financial advisor for an open school board position, narrowing a crowded field. A stay at home mom and operations manager at a food bank pulled ahead in the race for the other open school board seat.

A ideologically diverse slate of 13 candidates filed for two open Spokane Public School board seats this primary, focusing on getting children back to school and racial equity. Some had concerns over critical race theory.

The candidates that will move ahead in the race for position 3 are Melissa Bedford, an education instructor at Eastern Washington University, and Daryl Geffken, a financial advisor and former youth pastor. Bedford took the highest percentage of votes, about 42%, Geffken took 31.4%.

The other six candidates divided the remaining 25% of the vote.

Kata Dean, a stay-at-home mother, was leading in the race for position 1 on primary night. She took about 31% of votes in the primary. Riley Smith, a operations manager at Feeding Washington was in second place with 24.3% of votes.

Culzean Fairley, the director for education programs for at-risk youth at Spokane Public Schools, was in third with 19.6% of votes and Rion Ametu, a Fed Ex driver, was in fourth with 18.5% of votes.

According to the Spokane County Auditor’s Office, there were 6,500 votes left to count Tuesday night. The turnout was about 18.8%.