'Most Pressing Need'

Trail Mix: Locals line up for Trump (or do they?); County Commission race

click to enlarge Shelly O'Quinn, left, has a new politician in Andrew Biviano as her opponent for Spokane County Commission.
Shelly O'Quinn, left, has a new politician in Andrew Biviano as her opponent for Spokane County Commission.

O'Quinn's Competitor

Even though he has never run for office, ANDREW BIVIANO says he knows a little bit about how campaigns work. His wife, Amy Biviano, has run unsuccessfully for local office more than once — for Spokane county treasurer, and for Fourth Legislative District state representative.

Biviano hopes his wife's experience and advice will serve him well as he tries to unseat Spokane County Commissioner SHELLY O'QUINN this election season. He represents the first challenger for O'Quinn's seat so far.

"I know how much hard work is required," he says. "I can go into this with my eyes fully open."

Biviano wants to provide a progressive voice to counterbalance the conservative county commission, saying that none of the commissioners — O'Quinn, Al French or Nancy McLaughlin — represent the "other side of the coin" needed to get real positive results.

As a civil rights lawyer, former federal prosecutor and former mental health case worker, Biviano says he is most motivated by criminal justice reform, something O'Quinn has pushed for as well. But Biviano believes his work experience representing people in jail and the mentally ill better equips him for the job. "That's the most pressing need, on the human level, that I can bring to the county," he says. (WILSON CRISCIONE)

The Trump Test

The moment DONALD TRUMP became the presumptive GOP nominee, local Republican politicians have had to make a choice: Do they throw their support behind the man many of them had previously condemned? Or do they risk defying the will of the plurality of Republican voters by defying Trump?

Patty Murray challenger Chris Vance, who had previously argued that Republicans should unite behind the nominee, announced he would support neither Clinton nor Trump. In a Spokesman-Review article, meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers took the same route as Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and hesitated in endorsing Trump.

It was no surprise that Spokane Councilman Mike Fagan is supporting Trump. "I was talking like Trump four years ago, before Trump even opened his mouth," Fagan previously told the Inlander.

By contrast, State Sen. Michael Baumgartner had previously called Trump "a narcissistic clown show," "laughably vapid on policy" and joked that the candidate was a HILLARY CLINTON plant. But last week, Baumgartner referenced the stakes of the U.S. Supreme Court in suggesting that he'd grudgingly support Trump. (DANIEL WALTERS)

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About The Authors

Wilson Criscione

Wilson Criscione, born and raised in Spokane, is an Inlander staff writer covering education and social services in the Inland Northwest.

Daniel Walters

A lifelong Spokane native, staff writer Daniel Walters is the Inlander's City Hall reporter. But he also reports on a wide swath of other topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.He's reported on deep flaws in the Washington...