After the Spokane Redistricting Committee approves their agreed-upon redistricting plan at their 4 pm meeting tomorrow, Oct. 21, the decades-long drought of Democrats on the Spokane County Commission is set to be a thing of the past.
The proposed compromise they plan to sign off on includes at least one deep-blue district. District 1 includes the Western half of the city of Spokane and stretches from 29th street north, past Whitworth University. It is a district that Gov. Jay Inslee beat challenger Loren Culp in by nearly nine percentage points last year.
Democrats tend to perform worse in local races than at the state or national level, but a spread that large should enable progressives to win that district. They may have a much harder time winning in Eastern Spokane's District 2, with only a 4 percentage point cushion when looking at the same gubernatorial race.
But in the right conditions for Democrats, they could even take control of a majority of seats on the Board of County Commissioners. Culp only won District 5, which covers the West Plains, by a 4 percentage point margin.
That means the board could have potentially three competitive districts — depending on the national climate and the strengths and weaknesses of the local candidates.
Meanwhile, the redistricting committee also achieves their other stated goal: Keeping many of the region's natural constituencies together. The West Plains remains together, with Airway Heights, Fairchild Air Force Base, Medical Lake, and Cheney all in the same district. Spokane Valley, however, remains split. One half of Spokane Valley is in District 3, while the other half is stuck in District 4 with their Liberty Lake rivals.