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Progressive candidates appear to be leading Spokane City Council races

Spokane City Council Race
Savanna Rothe/SPR
Spokane City Council Race

Progressive candidates were in the lead on election night in the Spokane City Council primary.

District 3, which includes Northwest Spokane, was the most crowded city election with six candidates. Candidates are running to replace outgoing city councilwoman Karen Stratton, who has reached her term limit.

Kitty Klitzke was in first with about 36% of votes, according to preliminary results.

Klitzke is a longtime local figure in land use and environmental policy in Spokane, previously working for Futurewise, an organization that advocates against urban sprawl, and the Lands Council. She said her primary goal in running is to be apart of the city’s next comprehensive plan update. The comprehensive plan is the document the city uses to manage growth.

Earl Moore was in second with close to 22% of votes. Only the top two candidates will move on to the general election.

Moore, a retired respiratory therapist, has received by the most campaign support from conservatives, as well as the real estate and building industry. She identifies as a pro-police candidate and was the organizer of a rally in support of Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl, who’s recently come under scrutiny for correspondence with local business leaders.

Preliminary results show that Christopher Savage was in third, with about 17% of votes. He’s a three-time candidate who’s long been active in neighborhood issues. Savage did not receive support from the real estate industry, or many well-known Republicans, but did have the endorsement of former city council member Mike Fagan.

Esteban Herevia, who is a progressive, came in fourth with about 15% of votes.

Herevia is the former director of Spokane Pride and currently works for Washington State University. In an interview, Herevia said he was focused on advocating for underserved communities, like the West Central neighborhood.

Klitzke was the only progressive in the race that received the Spokane County Democrats endorsement, likely because of allegations against Herevia. He was accused of fostering an inappropriate relationship with a college student he mentored while an advisor at Whitworth University. He has said he saw them as a sibling.

Darren McCrea, the owner of Spokane’s first medical marijuana dispensary, will also not move on to the general election. His campaign was primarily focused on the environment. He took about 4.5% of of votes.

Randy McGlenn came in last with about 4.3% of votes. He is the previous chair of the East Central neighborhood council and the former chair of the state Libertarian party. He said he ran out of concern that many neighborhoods weren’t being listened too.

In Spokane City Council District 2, which includes the South Hill, the East Central neighborhood and Garden Springs, Paul Dillon came in first with 41% percent of votes.

Dillon is a local progressive advocate, and the vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Eastern Washington and Greater Idaho. He previously was Senator Andy Billig’s legislative assistant, and was legislative assistant to former District 2 city councilman John Snyder.

Katey Treloar came in second with about 33% of votes. She is a former public-school teacher who owns a business for coaching and mentoring students and adults with ADHD. She’s the only candidate in the race endorsed by the Spokane Police Guild. She, along with Moore, City Council President Candidate Kim Plese and Mayor Nadine Woodward, has benefited from significant spending from independent expenditures and donations from the real estate industry and commercial property interests.

Cyndi Donahue came in third with about 17% of votes. She owns a small business and most recently worked for Ignite Northwest, a non-profit focused on growing economic opportunity in Spokane. She also serves on the Downtown Spokane Partnership board. Donohue and Dillon were co-endorsed by the Spokane County Democrats and both have also received support from union groups and prominent progressives in the area.

Mike Naccarato came in last with about 8%. He will also not move on to the general election. He works as a business purchaser. He has not raised any campaign donations, but in an email to Spokane Public Radio earlier this year, raised concerns about political spending and influence in the race.

According to the results, turnout in District 3 was nearly 25% and turnout in District 2 was close to 30%. Preliminary results show there are potentially around 5,000 ballots left to count.

In the race for Spokane School Board incumbent Mike Wiser came in first in the school board primary with nearly 57% of votes.

Wiser was appointed to the board in March 2017, to represent District 2 on a temporary basis after Bob Douthitt’s resignation. Eight months later, Wiser was elected to a six-year term representing District 5.

Writing for the Spokane County voters’ guide this year, Wiser said he felt the district’s schools were working well. Academic outcomes improved and class sizes were shrinking, Wiser wrote, but more needed to be done for underserved young people. He specified hurdles such as socioeconomic standing, race, special needs and geography as potential barriers to student success. He was endorsed by progressive political group Fuse Washington, the Spokane Education Association, according to his campaign website.

Candidate Ericka Lalka came in second with nearly 34% of votes.

Lalka is a real estate executive who has been active in local Republican politics, serving as a precinct officer and state committeewoman. She said in this year’s Spokane County voters guide that she was dedicated to transforming the district, with a focus on student performance, parent-teacher collaboration and financial responsibility. On her campaign website, Lalka proposed restructuring the school system’s budget to direct money away from administration and into learning, with an emphasis on STEM education and other “core tenets of education,” such as arts, history and financial literacy.

Lalka also supported “hardening soft targets,” beefing up visible security at Spokane schools. She told the Spokesman-Review last month that she was open to the idea of trained, armed personnel in schools on a case-by-case basis.

Preliminary results indicate candidate David Voltz will not move on to the general election. He took about 8% of votes.

Voltz submitted only a brief statement to the county voters guide. In it, he said parents should have the right to choose their child’s education.

On his campaign Facebook account, Voltz wrote that he supported the right-wing group “Moms for Liberty,” whose goal, he wrote, is to “protect kids from liberal pedofile groomers and racist ideology satanic course lyke cry and the trans cults.” He called the state’s current sex-ed curriculum “perverted” and falsely claimed critical race theory is taught in Spokane public schools.

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.