June 2, 2009 in City

Candidates enter fray

Hopefuls filing to run include new municipal judge
Thomas Clouse tomc@spokesman.com, (509) 459-5495
 

On the Web: Anyone seeking to file in person to run for a local office must do so by 5 p.m. Friday. For more information on the process, go to www.spokanecounty.org/ elections.

About a dozen candidates for local offices waited Monday morning for the door of the Spokane County Elections Office to open to officially launch their campaigns.

“They are marching us to our doom,” said John Waite, who is entering his third race for Spokane City Council.

The crowd also included a freshly minted Municipal Judge Mary Logan, seeking her first election win, and old political hand Steve Eugster, who’s jumping back into the race to lead the Lilac City.

“This is about normal for a turnout,” elections manager Mike McLaughlin said. “It’s usually steady on the first day until about 10 a.m. They trickle in during the week, then on Friday it will surge again.”

The candidates filed paperwork and had their information logged onto the county Web site, which gave some county employees fits when the computers balked.

“They do an awesome job,” said Waite, a bookstore owner who has lost two council elections. “This is a confusing process.”

The office opened at 8:30 a.m., an hour after Spokane Valley City Council member Diana Wilhite arrived. “I thought they were opening early. I have a busy schedule and want to get it done,” she said. “We still have some unfinished business.”

Logan also filed her paperwork early in hopes of making it back in time to hear her first docket. “My experience has been wonderful,” said Logan, who was appointed six months ago by Mayor Mary Verner to serve in the new court. “We leave our egos at the door. We’ve been able to make positive changes that continue to protect the public and try to assist the offenders so they don’t keep coming back.”

Eugster served on the Spokane City Council from 2000 to 2003. He noted that he was one of the main proponents of the city’s strong mayor form of government. But that’s something he’d seek to change if elected. “I’m sorely disappointed. I’m seriously considering whether that is workable for the city,” he said. “… We are facing serious financial difficulties. We have to find a mature and disciplined way to deal with them.”

By the end of the day, 56 candidates had filed for offices including small-town mayors and council members, judges, school boards and fire commissioners.


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