It was a good night Tuesday for local incumbents and the Spokane Transit Authority, as voters were in a supportive mood.
Republican Shelly O’Quinn, who represents Spokane Valley’s District 2 seat on the Spokane County Board of Commissioners, cruised to an over 60-percent win over Democratic challenger Andrew Biviano. She will likely be joined by fellow GOP candidate Josh Kerns, who was leading Democrat Candace Mumm 52 percent to 47 percent in initial returns on Election Night.
The means the three-member board of commissioners remains staunchly Republican. A Democrat hasn’t been on the board since Bonnie Mager was defeated in 2010.
On an evening where Republican candidate Donald Trump – to the surprise of many – was voted into the Oval Office over Hillary Clinton, Republicans also reigned locally. Incumbent Rep. Matt Shea held tight to his 4th District post in the Legislature with nearly 63 percent, defeating Democrat Matt Stucker, who ran a tepid campaign. Sen. Mike Padden and Rep. Bob McCaslin, fellow GOP 4th District legislators who represent the Valley, were unchallenged.
Meanwhile, STA officials were giddy to learn that Proposition 1 was approved with 55.41 percent saying “yes” on Tuesday night. The measure – scaled down from a similar ballot item rejected last year – will call for a one-tenth of a cent sales tax increase next year to be followed with a second one-tenth of a penny increase in 2019 to raise $200 million over 11 years.
The funds will be used to improve bus service throughout the county, build new park-and-ride and transit centers, and fund a Central City electric bus line from Browne’s Addition to Spokane Community College.
In Spokane Valley, improvements will include expanded bus service to the expanding area east of Sullivan on Indiana Avenue. And Liberty Lake will have continued nonstop express service to downtown Spokane.
Also, a pair of public safety and emergency services levies in the town of Rockford passed overwhelmingly at around 75-percent approval each.
Results of the election will not become official until certified.