Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Results from last night's primary election — with context!

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM

If you didn’t like last night’s election results, feel free to blame the massive oh-so-silent (or lazy) majority. Nearly 80 percent of Spokane County residents never turned in their primary-election ballots.

Here’s a collection of highlights from those who did. Keep in mind, totals aren’t final — there are still 8,000 ballots left to count.  



In a city where the phrase “two-term mayor” has been an oxymoron since the 1970s, garnering 60 percent of the vote has got to feel pretty good. In a packed race, David Condon — a "nonpartisan" conservative who worked for U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers for years — was trounced by current Mayor Mary Verner, the "nonpartisan" winner of the Best Local Democrat award from Inlander readers.

In other words, barring a major scandal, Verner is an easy coast away from breaking the one-term mayor curse.

Mary Verner - 60.82 percent
David Condon - 31.79 percent


Former Mayor/City Council President Dennis Hession clearly had a lot of name recognition going into the race. He surged out ahead of Councilman Steve Corker and Communities in Schools Director Ben Stuckart. The race between Corker and Stuckart was tight, but ultimately, Corker — former chair of the Spokane County Democrats — was bested by Stuckart, the guy the Spokane County Democrats actually endorsed.

Victor Noder, who told The Inlander he was sure to lose, was proven right.

Dennis Hession - 37.55 percent
Ben Stuckart - 29.77 percent


So far, Tim Eyman-ally and mustache-owner Mike Fagan did the best among a crew of council candidates who’ve tried — and failed — to win an election in the past. Close behind is Donna McKereghan, the self-styled "Lady Socrates."

That means Merlyn’s owner John Waite is no longer in the race, proving District 1’s pro-Zerg bias once and for all. (Just Google it already.)

Mike Fagan - 28.55 percent
Donna McKereghan - 25.39 percent


Most of the slew of city charter amendments — some a bit wonky — passed. For the most part, the ones that passed wouldn’t really change the average life of the Spokane citizen. Most are minor clarifications to how things already are, not changes in policy. Two options that would change policy — one denying the park board the ability to condemn property, and allowing the city council to hold more special elections — were rejected.

Prop 1 (Council members can become council president, even after they’ve served their term)

Yes: 78.83 percent
No: 21.17 percent

Prop 2 (Allows elected officials to opt for a lower salary, if they choose)

Yes: 51.81 percent
No: 48.19 percent

Prop 3 (Recall elections happen by district, instead of city-wide)

Yes: 76.52 percent
No: 23.48 percent

Prop 4 (Clarifies that the city council can create temporary committees to make recommendations) 

Yes: 56.16 percent
No: 43.84 percent

Prop 5 (Prevents the City Council President from simultaneously serving as Mayor)

Yes: 79.74 percent
No: 20.26 percent

Prop 6 (Mayor can hire outside attorneys without council’s permission)

Yes: 60.14 percent
No: 39.86 percent

Prop 7 (Deny Park Board the ability to condemn property) (FAILED)

Yes: 42.02 percent
No: 57.98 percent

Prop 8 (Annexed land automatically becomes part of the district it’s touching)

Yes: 69.12 percent
No: 30.88 percent

Prop 9 (Clarifies that the Office of Neighborhood Services is a position that reports to the mayor)

Yes: 69.61 percent
No: 30.39 percent

Prop 10 (The city can hold multiple special elections within a six-month period) (FAILED)

Yes: 41.51 percent
No: 58.49 percent 

Prop 11 (Clarification allowing the City Council to ask the Planning Commission to review proposals and recommend legislation)

Yes: 53.87 percent
No: 46.13 percent


Software engineer Ben Wick had been running for Spokane Valley City Council essentially since the city was created. He applied for positions on the City  Council earlier this year, but despite being a finalist, never made the cut. Now, only Marilyn Cline, a volunteer with the Sheriff’s community police program, SCOPE, is standing in his way. And, with her impressive vote total, she's a pretty bid roadblock.

Marilyn Cline - 41.65
Ben Wick - 25.74


Voters will have a clear choice when they vote for school board this fall. One candidate, Deana Brower, is endorsed by the local and state teacher’s union. Sally Fullmer, meanwhile, is endorsed by a person who may as well be the opposite of the teacher’s union:  activist parent Laurie Rogers, head of a group that caused repeated commotions at community meetings this year.

“She is willing to be the 'lone voice in the wilderness,' voting against things that will not help our students academically,” Rogers writes about Fullmer at her blog,

Paul LeCoq, despite dropping out of the race and also endorsing Sally Fullmer, still managed to garner 841 votes.

Deana Brower - 38.59 percent
Sally Fullmer - 29.21 percent

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Daniel Walters

A lifelong Spokane native, Daniel Walters was a staff reporter for the Inlander from 2009 to 2023. He reported on a wide swath of topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.His work investigated deep flaws in the Washington...