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u 2017 Washington General Election, Nov. 7



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Challenger in Whitworth Water District race says commission running well

A biology professor looks to bring her water quality knowledge to the Whitworth Water District Commission, position 1, as she runs against an incumbent who wants to localize decisions on water management. Incumbent Rick Koller said he has concerns over a state Supreme Court ruling that requires counties to ensure new wells won’t have a negative impact on water availability. He agrees with the concept, but said in practice it has become a “bureaucratic mess,” carried out by “people who have never drilled a well before.”


Beggs’ defense of controversial magazine case in 1990s draws criticism from political foes

Spokane City Councilman Breean Beggs was part of a legal defense team that earned a $1.3 million judgment against a Whatcom County prosecutor targeting a bookstore for its sale of a magazine issue focusing on rape in 1995. The chair of the Spokane County Republicans, with support from several prominent conservatives on social media, is accusing Beggs’ involvement as a defense of hate speech, despite clear court victories indicating authorities were attempting to violate Constitutional rights.


Incumbent Medical Lake councilwoman stands by sheriff’s contract; challenger open to forming police department

The two candidates for position 2 on the Medical Lake City Council agree the city’s fire department needs paid staff, but they disagree on how to provide law enforcement to the town. Incumbent Elizabeth Rosenbeck, 54, aims to retain her seat on City Council against candidate John Merrick. She was appointed to the council in 2016 to fill the late Howard Jorgensen’s position.


Medical Lake City Council candidates disagree on creating police department

Theodore Olson and Gary Plumlee are running for Medical Lake City Council, Position 5.


Medical Lake candidates say more study is needed before changing course on law enforcement

Both candidates for position 4 on the Medical Lake City Council say more study is needed before abandoning the city’s partnership with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. Don Kennedy, a resident of 21 years and retired attorney, said that as debate continues about a possible end to Medical Lake’s contract with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, his main objective is maintaining an economically responsible budget.


Council candidate Howes offers free pizza for controversial campaign mailer

The northwest Spokane pizzeria owner said he’s trying to put a positive spin on a campaign ad he called “slanderous and uncalled-for.”


Whitworth Water commission candidates anticipate increased demand

Both candidates for a vacant Whitworth Water District Commission seat tout their backgrounds in construction and utilities as evidence they can serve a district entering a period of increased demand for coverage and new management. Dave Tewel, one of the candidates, said a big challenge the district faces is more requests for water from areas that are remote, but still within the district’s bounds. He said the necessary infrastructure for this expansion would drive rates up.


Accusations of mudslinging, bullying in contentious Spokane Valley City Council race

The race for Spokane Valley City Council Position 2 is heating up, and so is the rhetoric between its two candidates.


Spin Control: Some answers to questions about those advisory votes on the ballot

Three advisory measures sit atop the ballot for Washington voters.


Contenders in Spokane Valley Fire Commission race focus on finances

For Spokane Valley Fire Board Commissioner Patrick Burch and challenger Stan Chalich, serving the community and ensuring the fire department’s financial longevity is a common goal. Burch, 54, was appointed to the fire board of commissioners in July 2016. Burch has more than nine years of community service experience within the fire department. He served on the Community Emergency Response Team and was a team leader with the Fire Corps, a volunteer group that provides firefighter support services.


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