Swap out one engineer for a computer expert, and you’ve got your new Spokane Valley City Council.
Ben Wick picked up a few more votes in the last Spokane County Elections Office count conducted on Nov. 16, which means he will be sworn in as the newest council member on Dec. 27. Wick defeated sheriff’s volunteer Marilyn Cline with just over 50 percent of the vote.
There are just 100 or so ballots left to be counted countywide, which will be counted Monday. Only a fraction of those will be Spokane Valley ballots, so the general election is basically over and done before it’s certified next Tuesday.
Wick – who will be the only non-Positive Change-affiliated face on the council -- will replace Bill Gothmann, who chose not to run for re-election in Position 6 on the council.
The next closest Spokane Valley race was the one between council-appointee Arne Woodard and DeeDee Loberg in Position 3. Less than 1,000 votes still separate the two, but Woodard is the winner in that race.
Challenger and Planning Commission Chairman John Carroll never seriously threatened Council Member Dean Grafos in Position 2, and Chuck Hafner was alone on the ballot in Position 5.
Rep. Jeff Baxter – who was appointed to his 4th District legislative seat by Spokane County commissioners earlier this year – held out hope that he could overtake former legislator and judge Mike Padden as the final ballots were tallied, but it’s not to be. Padden leads with just over 53 percent.
Shane Brickner’s vote tally increased by five votes since the previous count, assuring his win over Keith Kopelson for the Position 5 spot on the Liberty Lake City Council.
Close races in Millwood also did not change drastically, as incumbents Glenn Bailey and Brian Ellingson will both return to the City Council.
Countywide election turnout was just over 56 percent. Total ballots cast were 150,041 out of 265,970 in Spokane County.