Regional Elections 2021

Gonzaga University

Three City Council candidates and a school board candidate promised to take climate change seriously, and look for ways to promote local environmental policy in a forum Wednesday.

City Council candidates were asked in a climate forum at Gonzaga University’s third annual climate forum whether they would work to make Spokane more resilient, and if they would support climate intervention policies.

Naghmana Sherazi, a candidate for the Northeast Spokane City Council District, called for the city to include communities of color in climate planning.

Rebecca White/SPR

A judge ruled that an initiative that would have barred the Spokane City Council from regulating natural gas and hydropower will not be allowed to appear on the November ballot.

The “Spokane Clean Energy Protection Act” ballot act was sparked in opposition to a draft sustainability plan that called for the city to phase out natural gas hook-ups.

Spokane County Breaks Rockford City Council Race Tie

Aug 26, 2021
Spokane County

The Spokane County Auditor broke a tie for the town of Rockford today.

The race between Rockford town council candidates Ivan Willmschen and Rachelle Arriaga had a little more than 100 votes. The two candidates were tied for second.

Under state law, ties must be broken using a game of chance. Spokane County auditor Vicky Dalton used a milk bottle, and a ball representing each candidate.

Candidate Willmschen’s designated ball fell out of the milk bottle first, making him the winner. He will move onto the general election.

Courtesy of Tyler LeMasters

A judge ruled that Spokane City Council Candidate Tyler LeMasters' name will not be allowed to appear on the November ballot.

LeMasters is a realtor and former aide to Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. He was running against Betsy Wilkerson, a city councilwoman who was appointed to represent the South Spokane City Council District in 2019.

Courtesy of Luc Jasmin and Naghmana Sherazi

Spokane County election officials have recounted votes for two close Spokane County races, reaffirming an existing lead and a tie.

Courtesy of Tyler LeMasters

Two people are suing Spokane City Council candidate Tyler LeMasters, asking a judge to remove him from the November ballot.

They argue he doesn’t meet a key requirement to be eligible to be a city council member, being a resident of his district for a year.

Spokane County to Recount Votes for Two Primary Races

Aug 17, 2021
Courtesy of Luc Jasmin and Naghmana Sherazi

Two Spokane County races will be recounted next week due to a close margin in a Spokane City Council Race and a tie for second place in the town of Rockford.

The Spokane County election results were verified Tuesday. In the final count Jonathan Bingle came in first in the race for the Northeast Spokane City Council District, and candidate Naghmana Sherazi came in second.

Candidate Luc Jasmin however, was only four votes behind Sherazi, which triggered a recount for that race.

Tom Banse/Northwest News Network

A group of environmental advocates and a Spokane city councilwoman are suing to stop an initiative that would bar city leaders from banning new natural gas hookups. They want to keep it off the ballot.

They argue it would hamper the region’s ability to fight climate change.

Courtesy of Luc Jasmin and Naghmana Sherazi

At least one race in Spokane County's August primary election is likely headed for a recount. Only two votes separate candidates for the Northeast City Council Districts in their race for that coveted second-place spot.

In the race to represent the open seat in the Northeast district, event business owner Jonathan Bingle came in first with about 46% of votes. Naghmana Sherazi, who works in the diversity and inclusion office at Gonzaga University, and Luc Jasmin, a day care owner, are vying for second with a little more than 26% of the vote each. Sherazi's up by two votes.

Rebecca White/SPR

Incumbent candidates had mixed results in the local non-city of Spokane races on Tuesday’s primary election ballot.

In Spokane Valley, all three incumbent council members are apparently headed to the next election in November.

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.

Voters Narrow Spokane County Municipal Races

Aug 3, 2021
Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Here are the August 3 primary election results from the municipal races in Spokane County.

In the city of Spokane's Northwest district, former state legislative candidate Zack Zappone won a five-way race. He'll face Spokane hamburger restaurant owner Mike Lish in the November general election.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate: Jake Leadingham

Jul 26, 2021
Jake Leadingham

Thirteen candidates are running for two seats on the Spokane Public School Board of directors. Our Rebecca White spoke to nine of those candidates in a series of interviews that airing on Spokane Public Radio.

Jake Leadingham is a member of the National Guard and also works as an analyst. 

Leadingham said he is primarily running because he is concerned that the school board is promoting critical race theory.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate: Kenneth Cameron

Jul 26, 2021
Ken Cameron

Two openings on the Spokane Public School Board have attracted 13 candidates.

Nine of those candidates agreed to interviews with Spokane Public Radio that are airing during the primary election.

Today, we’re introducing Ken Cameron, who recently retired as the owner of a promotional products business.

He said he's running on behalf of school board constients who currently don't feel heard. 

Corstian Dehle-Jones

As Spokane Public School Board rounds out a headline making year, two members have chosen not to file for reelection.

Thirteen candidates have filed for those two positions. Nine agreed to interviews with Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White.

Candidate Corstian Dehle-Jones is a union shop steward and grew up in the greater Spokane area. He said he is running to promote options outside of a four year degree from a university and is supportive of racial equity measures the school district is implementing.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate: Riley Smith

Jul 26, 2021
Riley Smith

Two open Spokane Public School Board of Directors seats have attracted 13 candidates.

Nine of those candidates agreed to speak to Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White.

Riley Smith works at a food bank non-profit and is a North Central High School Alumni. He said he’s focusing on the growing mental health needs in public schools and the need for tech and trade school opportunities.

Interviews with other candidates are airing this week and on spokanepublicradio.org.

Spokane Public School Candidate: Rion Ametu

Jul 23, 2021

Thirteen candidates are running for two open seats on the Spokane Public Schools Board.

Nine of those candidates agreed to interviews with Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White.

Today, we’re introducing candidate Rion Ametu. He is a Navy Veteran and Fed Ex driver, who said he is running to ensure the school board follows through its pledge to improve racial equity.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate: Kata Dean

Jul 21, 2021
Courtesy of Kata Dean

Spokane Public School District voters will see 13 candidates on their ballot for two open positions this year. 

Nine of those candidates agreed to speak with Spokane Public Radio's Rebecca White. 

Today we’re introducing Kata Dean. She is a stay at home mother of 5 who said her highest priority is getting children back in school, and caught up after a year at home.

Courtesy of Karina Hernandez.

Thirteen candidates are running for two seats on the Spokane Public School Board of directors. Spokane Public Radio's Rebecca White spoke to ten of those candidates in a series of interviews.

Today, we’ll hear from Karina Hernandez. She is a stay-at-home mother who says she's running in hopes of increasing resources for children with non-traditional learning styles and disabilities. 

Spokane Public School Board Candidate Daryl Geffken

Jul 20, 2021
Daryl Geffken

Spokane school board seats are in high demand this year. Thirteen candidates are running for two open seats during the August primary election.

Spokane Public Radio’s Rebecca White has spoken with nine of those candidates in the run-up to election. Today she talks with Daryl Geffken.

Spokane Public School Board Candidate: Melissa Bedford

Jul 19, 2021
Courtesy of Melissa Bedford

Spokane Public Radio has spoken to nine of the 13 candidates who are running for Spokane Public School Board of Directors.

An excerpt of an interview with each candidate will air in July and full interviews with each candidate is available online.

Spokane Public Radio's Rebecca White spoke with candidate Melissa Bedford.

Filing Week For Public Office Opens in Spokane County

May 17, 2021
Rebecca White/SPR

The filing period to run for office in Spokane County opened today and there are nearly 150 elected positions open in Spokane County.

In the first few hours of filing week 41 candidates filed for 33 open positions said Spokane County elections manager Mike McLaughlin. He said that’s likely a small fraction of people expected to file this week.

“We’ll get a lot of people the next Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday night. A lot of people will file, we’ll come to work, get them processed and up on the website.”