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Bedford and Smith likely winners in Spokane school board races

Progressive candidates Melissa Bedford and Riley Smith appeared poised to claim seats on the Spokane school board, according to results released Tuesday night.

Bedford, an Eastern Washington University professor, led financial advisor Daryl Geffken 57% to 42%.. 

Their policy disagreements followed lines familiar to 2021 politics. Geffken said he was concerned critical race theory and sex education are being taught in public schools. Bedford said she supports racial equity and noted critical race theory isn’t being taught in schools. Geffken was backed by some local businesses and individual donors. Bedford was endorsed by Spokane’s teachers union, and won support from several sitting school board members.

Smith, who works at a food bank, led Kata Dean 54% to 45%. Dean said her highest priority was doing whatever she could to make sure children stay in school after a year of at-home learning. Smith, a graduate of Spokane Public Schools, said his biggest priority was investing in mental health resources in schools.