Former Spokane Mayor Jim West’s premature death at 55 brings a poignant end to a political career best described as driven. That’s not a bad thing if you believe in the American political system as West did. For nearly 30 years, he lived out that belief. At the end, sadly, his political dedication was overshadowed by scandal. The saga of his using the Internet to troll for young men as sex partners was steady news for much of 2005, further darkened by disturbing allegations that he had molested young boys during his days as a Scout leader and sheriff’s deputy. His Internet messages offering gifts and City Hall positions were uncharacteristically indiscreet, especially his use of a city computer in the process, but his insistence on fighting for survival to the end was consistent with his style as a political battler. He lost that contest when voters rejected him in last fall’s recall election. And early Saturday, he lost a more serious contest with cancer.
For the rest of the Sunday editorial by Doug Floyd/Spokesman-Review, click here.
Question: How should ex-Spokane mayor Jim West be remembered?