Incumbent Harry Larned appeared headed to victory late Tuesday in one of the races for two open seats on the Spokane Valley Fire District Board of Commissioners.
In early returns, Larned led challenger Lynn Schindler by a wide margin.
The race for the other seat was too close to call, with incumbent Ronald Schmidt narrowly leading challenger James Fox.
It was an important election as commissioners face several significant tasks.
They include renegotiating the contract with the firefighters’ union and hammering out details for building a new fire station at Liberty Lake.
Larned, who has served as a commissioner for the past nine years, said during the campaign that he wouldn’t change much if he were re-elected - that the district was running just fine.
Schmidt said Tuesday he would make training and education his top priority if the early numbers held.
“We need to see that we get good, educated firemen to go out there, and paramedics, to do the job,” he said.
Fox said he would open lines of communication with the union to help make next year’s contract talks go smoothly.
Schindler vowed to be an advocate for the taxpayers if elected.