Forgive the mixing of mythological metaphors, but it was Ragnarok for the existing Spokane Valley City Council on Tuesday night as the old order changeth yielding to new.
Voters brought an end to the tenures of Ed Pace, Mike Munch and Caleb Collier, ushering in a pair of fresh faces and one familiar one to the council. Meanwhile, Rod Higgins’ hold on his council seat is tenuous as his race with Chris Jackson was too close to call at less than a percentage point as of Tuesday.
Of the council newcomers appointed last year, only Pamela Haley is guaranteed to remain, as she had nearly 60 percent of the vote over challenger Angie Beem.
Ben Wick – who has previously served on the council before being narrowly defeated by Sam Wood two years ago – holds a commanding 59-percent lead over Pace, who has been on the council since 2014.
Collier – who ran a contentious campaign against challenger Brandi Peetz – was also shown the door, mustering less than 42 percent of the vote to Peetz’s nearly 58 percent. Challenger Linda (Hatcher) Thompson posted similar numbers against Munch, who also will not return to the council in January.
Higgins, who was appointed mayor by the council, trailed 46 votes behind Jackson as of Tuesday night.
Additional ballots remain to be counted, and the election does not become certified until Nov. 28. According to Spokane County election officials, voter turnout hovered at just over 22 percent.
Other tight races include those for commissioner posts on the Spokane Valley Fire Department board of commissioners. Stan Chalich was leading incumbent Patrick Burch with 49.8 percent of the vote. Meanwhile, longtime incumbent Bill Anderson was slightly ahead of Larry Rider with nearly 52 percent.
In Liberty Lake, Mike Kennedy has nearly a staggering 80-percent lead over Dylan McGuire while Odin Langford is assured of another term with his comfortable 57 percent over Jeanette Nall.
Kevin Freeman will retain his seat as Millwood’s mayor with over 66 percent of the vote.
The incumbents appear to be heading to retain control of two East Valley School District board races, with Fred Helms leading challenger Emily Provencio with 51 percent. Justin Voelker has a 62-percent edge over challenger Nathaniel Rooney.
In West Valley, incumbent Dan Hansen had over 77 percent of the vote. Challenger Gerald Rosenbaum had dropped out of the race, but his name was still on the general election ballot.