On election night, Councilman Breean Beggs had been confident that he would win the race for council president against newcomer Cindy Wendle. "I'm thinking 53 percent or higher," he said while drinking a beer. "I feel great."
But things quickly went south. Shortly after 8 pm that night, the first vote tallies came in. Beggs was down by 800. And moments later he'd learn that mayoral candidate and current Council President Ben Stuckart — a close Beggs' ally — had quickly conceded to Nadine Woodward, a former TV anchor and political newcomer herself.
Beggs remained hopeful, and for the past nine days, he's watched the margin shrink as election officials continued to count ballots. Finally, tonight, a verdict: Wendle conceded the race to Beggs as the latest count gave Beggs a 503-vote lead. She issued a statement to campaign supporters shortly after 5 pm today:
This evening, in one of the closest electoral races in Spokane’s history, I have called my opponent, Councilman Beggs, to congratulate him on his election to City Council President. It has been an honor and privilege to stand for this office and, though I came up just short in votes, I hold my head high at having fought the good fight and finished the race.
With Beggs' apparent victory, the council is poised to retain its 6-1 veto-proof majority, giving it leverage in any battles with Mayor-elect Woodward. The council will soon start a process to replace Beggs on the council; he had two years remaining in his term.