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The Spokane Valley News Herald
City of Spokane Valley, WA
Primary ballot crowded for open council seat


Managing Editor


Now that filing week is over, August is looking to be a dry month for the primary election.
The only deluge in candidates is in the open Spokane Valley City Council seat to be vacated by Bill Gothmann, who has chosen not to run again.
Ben Wick, an information technology specialist who is being coached by Gothmann to succeed him, will face off against John Baldwin, Lewis Higgins and Marilyn Cline in the primary. The top two vote-getters will then move on to the November general election.
Baldwin, like Wick, has sought a spot on the council before, most recently during the vacancies created when Rose Dempsey resigned in January and when Bob McCaslin passed away in March. Those seats went to Arne Woodard and Chuck Hafner, respectively.
Baldwin and Cline are both longtime volunteers with the Sheriff’s Community Oriented Policing Effort. Higgins is a retired executive director of the International Association of Mine Safety Professionals.
The only other council races will be in Position 2, where incumbent Dean Grafos will be challenged by John Carroll, city Planning Commission chairman. Homemaker and community activist DeeDee Loberg – who has also sought an appointment on the council – is after Woodard’s Position 3 slot.
Hafner has no challenger in Position 5.
In other races of interest:

    • It will be Mike Padden, former District Court judge and 4th District representative, facing fellow Republican and appointee Jeff Baxter for the 4th District senate seat.
    • Steve Peterson will be looking to reclaim the Liberty Lake mayoral post. Josh Beckett, who currently sits on the City Council, will challenge.
    • Keith Kopelson and Shane Brickner are the candidates for Liberty Lake Council Position 5, currently held by Judi Owens, who will not run again. Incumbents Susan Schuler and Cris Kaminskas will not be challenged. Daniel Dunne is unchallenged for the Position 3 post previously held by David Crump, who is not seeking re-election.
    • Mike Ellis and incumbent Brian Ellingson are seeking the Position 3 seat on the Millwood City Council, while David Kopp will face incumbent Glenn Bailey in Position 4.
    • It’s Steve Christman vs. incumbent Clinton Stevenson in the Rockford council race for Position 3. Incumbents Thomas Smith and Jim Oshanick will not have opponents.
    • In East Valley, incumbents Mitch Jensen and Mike Harris will run unopposed for their seats on the school board.
    • In the Central Valley School District, no one will oppose M.J. Bolt (incumbent Cynthia McMullen is not seeking another term), incumbent Debra Long, incumbent Keith Clark or newcomer Amy Gresch Mason for board seats.
    • West Valley School District’s school board seats only have single candidates, incumbents Bob Wentworth and Samuel Andrews.
    • Freeman has a council race, Lisa Paternoster vs. Angela Keebler in District 5. Incumbent Brent Fetsch is not running, but John Zinng and Randy Primmer are and will not face challengers. Newcomer Neil Fuchs also will not have an opponent.
    • The Spokane Valley Fire District has no races for commissioner. Incumbent Bill Anderson is all alone in Position 5.
    • Incumbents Dennis Ross and Gregory Hesse are without challengers in Fire District 8.
    • In Fire District 9, there will be a three way race between Thomas McGarry, incumbent Robert Strasburg and Ralph Rickards Jr. in Position 1.
    • Incumbent Tom Agnew appears to be keeping his commissioner post in the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District.
TheSpokane Valley News Herald
is the City of Spokane Valley, Washington's official Newspaper. The City Council of the City of Spokane Valley, Washington named the Spokane Valley News Herald as the city's "official" newspaper. The designation means the Spokane Valley News Herald will publish the city's legal notices on a contract basis for one year.

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