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Confident candidate says he’ll win Spokane council seat

Chris Bowen, who ran a strange and unsuccessful campaign for state representative in 2008, is confident he'll win his next race.

Bowen, 33, has filed to run for Bob Apple's seat on the Spokane City Council.

"At the end of the day, this is my seat," Bowen said in and interview late last month.

Soon after being contacted by a reporter about his new candidacy, Bowen paid a $300 fine levied against him in 2008 by the state Public Disclosure Commission for failing to file campaign paperwork. The fine had been sent to a collections agency. The PDC will get $243 of the fine, said Lori Anderson, PDC spokeswoman.

Bowen ran as a Republican in 2008, but the county GOP refused to endorse his candidacy.

Bowen is the activity coordinator for Helping Hands, a nonprofit residential treatment center for at-risk youths in Spokane. Jason Gregory, director of Helping Hands, said Bowen has worked for him for about six months.

In 2008, during his campaign to unseat state Rep. Alex Wood, D-Spokane, Bowen repeatedly refused to provide details about what he did for a living. Eventually, he said he owned a moving company, but refused to name it. Asked if he is now willing to name his former business, he declined, though he said the company was not based in Spokane.

He said his former business is not relevant to the City Council campaign and is in the past: "That's three years of thinking about these sweet lies," he said, without revealing further details about lies he believes were made about him or his former company.

Attempts made to find business records for Bowen's moving company were unsuccessful. However, it does appear Bowen owned a mowing company in Spokane. That's mowing -- with a W, not a V.

State records indicate that Bowen operated Bowen Lawn Care & More in Spokane from 2007 until 2009.

Bowen said he's willing to spend $25,000 of his own money on the City Council race, and some of his signs have been displayed in northeast Spokane for weeks.

As a city councilman, Bowen said he would work to improve the economy, the roads and public safety. But he hadn't formulated specifics for paying for improvements.

For instance, he said the city should hire more police officers, but he didn't offer a plan to finance new hires.

"I would have to review my notes," he said, when asked how he would support boosting the number of police officers.

In August 2002, Bowen was charged with third-degree theft in a case that originated with Eastern Washington University police. Most of the records from the case have been destroyed, but a court docket indicates that a Cheney Municipal Court judge deferred a ruling on the charge for six months and Bowen, who pleaded not guilty, was placed on probation. The case was dismissed in March 2003.

Similar to statements he made in 2008, Bowen said last month that he doesn't remember details about the theft case, except that it was "so minor" and that it was dismissed. 

NOTE: This is an edited version of a post from March 31 that was not intended to be made live on Spin Control until additional reporting was completed. An incomplete version was briefly viewable on the site earlier indicating that Bowen's PDC fine was unpaid, which was accurate at the time it was written.

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Jonathan Brunt
Jonathan Brunt joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. He is the government editor. He previously was a reporter who covered Spokane City Hall, Spokane County government and public safety.

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