In the first round of primary election results, just posted on the Spokane County elections website, name recognition and cash look to be paying off for those vying for seats on the Spokane City Council.
Councilman Jon Snyder is leading in the race for his District 2 seat, representing the South Hill and downtown, with nearly 57 percent of the vote. Former state Rep. John Ahern is holding second (which would propel him to the primary) with 24 percent, and businesswoman LaVerne Biel has received about 20 percent of the vote.
In the fight for District 3, representing northwest Spokane and being vacated by Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin because of term limits, former TV journalist Candace Mumm leads with about 56 percent of the vote. Her well-funded antithesis Michael Cannon is next with nearly 27 percent of the vote.
Little surprise there. Mumm is backed by liberal Council President Ben Stuckart and labor unions; Cannon has support from conservative Mayor David Condon and the city administrator. Their less well-known and far out-fundraised opponents, former County Republican chair Curtis Fackler and West Central advocate Kelly Cruz, trail by nearly 20 points each.
In the Valley's conservative-against-other-conservatives race, part-time pastor Ed Pace and incumbent Gary Schimmels lead with 36 and 34 percent, respectively.
The deep red 7th District is favoring Colville farmer John Smith for state senator, with Mike Brunson and Brian Dansel neck-and-neck to take him on in the general election.
Total turnout county-wide is about 18.6 percent, according to the elections office.
UPDATE: Another round of results was released Wednesday, but the winners remain the same.
Snyder took 55 percent of his district and will face Ahern in the general election for Spokane City Council. Mumm and Cannon will move forward for District 3.
In the Valley, incumbent Schimmels received fewer votes than the challenger Pace, who he'll face in November. Smith will move on to the general election for the 7th District state senate seat, where he will likely face Brunson (though the third challenger is only 29 votes behind).
According to the County Elections Office, another 200 ballots will be counted on Aug. 19.