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Spokane Redistricting Group Can't Agree On Final Member; Commissioners To Choose

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

The committee tasked with expanding the county from three to five commissioner districts was unable to agree on a fifth, and final, member.

Spokane County will soon go from three commissioner districts with district primary elections and countywide general elections, to five districts with only district elections.

A committee of two people chosen by state elected Republicans, two people chosen by state elected Democrats and a non-voting chair will oversee the transition to that process. But, in their first act as a committee, the four members could not agree on who should be the non-voting member.

“I don’t know, I’m at a loss. We’ve offered an opportunity to be like the re-districting commission and offered someone who had no known party associations and we haven’t been able to get there and it’s frustrating," said Brian McClatchey. He’s a Democrat-nominated committee member and the director of policy and government relations for the city of Spokane.

He and co-committee member Natasha Hill, a lawyer and advocate for racial justice, were at loggerheads with the two Republican-appointed members: Robin Ball, a former local GOP party chair, and Jim McDevitt, a former U.S. Attorney.

McDevitt was staunchly in support of Bill Hyslop, a former U.S. Attorney appointed by former President Donald Trump.

“You’ll find Bill to be a hardworking, dedicated individual who will gain your trust, will gain the trust of all us. I’ve seen it over the years, I can virtually guarantee it," he said.

Hill and McClatchey were in support of Gary Stokes, the general manager of KSPS, Lars Gilberts, the CEO of the University District, and Gloria Ochoa-Bruck, the director of local government and multi-cultural affairs for the city of Spokane.

The group voted three times, to confirm Hyslop, Stokes, and Ochoa-Bruck, but could not come to a consensus.

The deadline for them to decide was Thursday. Since they could not, the decision will be up to the three sitting county commissioners. The commissioner have until the end of the month to choose.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.