John Logan is the new mayor of Spangle by the luck of the draw.
“It was just neck and neck, all the way to the end,” said Logan, a hearing aid fitting specialist.
He was tied with farming consultant Joe Coombs at 64 votes apiece last month when Spokane County tallied its last ballots.
That meant a recount, by hand, of Spangle’s 132 ballots from the Nov. 7 election. Four residents didn’t punch their ballots for the mayor’s race. Maybe they thought their vote didn’t matter.
After Wednesday’s recount, Logan and Coombs were still tied for the $50-a-month job.
County elections staff asked both candidates to come to the courthouse to break the tie.
Logan had appointments, so he asked neighbor Chuck Layton to stand in.
County Auditor Bill Donahue had a box with five straws with different lengths. The county used that method some years back to break an electoral tie.
Coombs suggested they draw cards, and produced a new, sealed deck. Layton said that was fine. The deck was spread on a table and the men took turns drawing three cards to get the best hand.
“My stomach was turning, all the way,” Layton said later.
They handed their cards to Donahue. Coombs had a Queen, a Jack and a 4.
Logan had a Queen, a Jack…
… And a 5. He won by what may be the narrowest margin in county election history.
Logan said it was fitting his neighbor was there to draw the cards.
It was Layton who first suggested Logan run for mayor a year ago.