By fewer than 100 votes, Rocky Treppiedi has won the right to go up against Christie Querna for a seat on the Spokane School Board in the Nov. 7 election.
Treppiedi, who lives in northwest Spokane, said his campaign will stress the lack of geographic diversity on the board.
Only one of five current board members lives on the North Side.
“It’s a legitimate concern,” Treppiedi said. “I don’t care if it’s a planning commission or a law enforcement board, there should be geographic diversity.”
Querna, who lives on the South Hill, said a candidate’s home address shouldn’t matter.
“People, no matter where they live, have the same hopes and dreams and fears and aspirations for their kids,” she said.
Querna, a school volunteer who is not employed, stressed her experience and the time and energy she can devote to the post.
Both candidates have children in Spokane public schools. Both want to raise expectations for students and keep schools safe.
Treppiedi, 42, is an attorney for the city. Querna, 50, is married to an attorney.
Querna’s campaign is the bigger money-maker.
The $16,000 she has raised in cash and in-kind donations sets a record in Spokane school board races. Treppiedi has raised roughly $3,000.
“I’m not even going to attempt to compete at that kind of level,” Treppiedi said. “I have to find a different way to get my message across to the voters.”
Querna sent 600 letters to acquaintances and included a handwritten note on each.
“It shows the faith people have in me,” she said. “They know my passion is education and good schools.”
Last week, it was clear Querna had survived the primary, but the margin between Treppiedi and the third-place Steven Neumiller was too close to call.
Official tallies released Friday gave Querna roughly 51 percent of the vote and Treppiedi roughly 16 percent.
The 93-vote margin between Treppiedi and Neumiller is not close enough to trigger a mandatory recount.
School officials praised the quality of the surviving candidates.
“Both have been very involved in individual schools and district projects,” said Superintendent Gary Livingston. “That experience at the school and district level would serve them very well on the board.”
Board President Rob Fukai, who is running unopposed for his seat, said: “It looks like we have two very qualified candidates. The community can look forward to learning more about how they feel about issues in education.”
Treppiedi and Querna will speak at a parent meeting at Moran Prairie Elementary, 4224 E. 57th Ave., on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The public is welcome.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: FINAL TALLY The final count in the Spokane School District 81 Position 2 board race: Christie Querna 15,407 50.8% Rocky Treppiedi 4,843 16.0% Steve Neumiller 4,750 15.7% Lonny Bingle 2,086 6.9% Jimmy Marks 1,684 5.6% Lou Chobot 1,564 5.2% Top two advance to Nov. 7 general election Total exceeds 100 percent due to rounding