Former Cheney Mayor Tom Trulove emerged from Tuesday’s primary as a finalist to regain the city’s top job but faces a strong candidacy from a Cheney business leader.
Amy Jo Sooy, the director of the Cheney Chamber of Commerce, captured the most votes in the four-way primary race for Cheney mayor. Trulove trailed Sooy by 75 votes out of nearly 900 counted.
Sooy, who has lived in and around Cheney virtually all her life, has managed the chamber since 1994, and before that, ran the County Seat Restaurant for eight years.
“Now the campaign begins,” said Trulove, adding he was pleased voters are giving him another run for mayor.
Trulove, an economics professor, left the mayor’s spot in 1986 to accept a governor’s nomination to the Northwest Power Planning Council.
They are running to replace retiring mayor Al Ogdon.
Eugene Ozust, a former Cheney city employee, and Phil Kiver, a community college student, trailed.
In the only Cheney City Council primary race, Mike McKeehan, a teacher at Reid Laboratory School, and Marliss Gregerson, a first-term incumbent, were near even in the race for two spots on the general election ballot.
The third candidate, C. Allan Gainer Jr., trailed.
Mayor Don Harmon, seeking a second term, was the top vote-getter in Tuesday night’s counting in the four-way race.
He won’t know who his challenger will be until all absentees are counted.
Verne Patten and Brian Grady finished the night tied with 89 votes apiece. Patten is a retired civilian personnel tech at Fairchild Air Force Base. Grady runs an excavating company.
Margarite Cassidenti, a former school-teacher, trailed.
Three council seats were on the primary ballot in Airway Heights.
Late returns showed Dale Perry and John Holloway leading for Position 1.
In Position 2, Jerry McCoury and Claude Hicks are headed for the November ballot.
In Position 3, Rich Miller led the voting and will advance to the general election. Barbara Cochran and Pat Carbaugh were tied for the second slot with 22 votes each. Gerry Gadberry trailed.
Final results won’t be known for at least several days.
Michael Wolfe, seeking a comeback to Deer Park City Hall after serving on the council in the 1980s, was leading a three-way race for mayor.
Doug Box was second in Tuesday’s count. He led Kathleen Nuffer by 10 votes, but some absentee ballots may yet be counted.
Box is seeking to move from the Deer Park City Council to the mayor’s job. Nuffer has been a city planning commissioner for six years.
Former City Councilwoman Lahnie J. Henderson led a four-way field in her effort to return to the council after a year’s absence.
She resigned her former post because of a time conflict with her job at the Federal Aviation Administration, but said she now has time to get back into city politics.
Henderson apparently will face John Aiken Jr., a Spokane public works inspector who has lived in Medical Lake for 30 years.
Fewer than 70 votes were counted in Spangle, but the primary leaders for an open council seat were challengers Joe Coombs and Jeneal Layton.
Layton was five votes ahead of incumbent Kevin O’Grady.