Tom Konis turns the tables in a narrow lead for Spokane County assessor

On election night, it appeared Republican Leonard Christian would become the next Spokane County assessor, as he led his opponent Tom Konis, also a Republican, by more than 1,000 votes.

But now that the election is certified, Konis has the slight edge, taking a lead of just over 150 votes. Konis, however, isn't celebrating yet. The narrow margin will prompt a recount.

"I'll be confident in a couple of weeks when the recount is over," Konis tells the Inlander.

Konis, who has been employed in the assessor's office for 25 years, credits his comeback to the work his campaign did late in the game.

"We purposely did a lot of stuff late in the campaign. We were trying to be as fresh as we could be to people," Konis says.

He lost in the primary by more than 10,000 votes, but as the general election neared, he splurged on radio and newspaper ads and had his campaign do sign waving in the city. Konis carried the vote in the city of Spokane, while Christian did better in Spokane Valley.

"I also really feel this position should be a nonpartisan position, so I reached out to Democrats to get their support," he says.

The recount should be done by Dec. 7. In order for a hand recount to be done, the margin had to be less than 150 and less than a quarter of 1 percent difference, says Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton. The margin as of press time Tuesday was 152, meaning instead it will be a machine recount.

Christian, reached by phone Tuesday, opted not to comment for this article.

"I'm really not interested in talking about it," he says.

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About The Author

Wilson Criscione

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