A fresh batch of election results Wednesday inched incumbent Spokane City Councilman Mike Allen closer to defeat.
With about 70 percent of what is expected to be the final number of ballots counted, Out There Monthly publisher Jon Snyder leads Allen with 52.5 percent of the vote.
Snyder said Wednesday that he will wait to declare victory, but added, “This is about as solid as you can get.”
Allen would need to win about 55 percent of the remaining ballots to win. But Snyder appears to have momentum: After winning Tuesday’s count with 52 percent, Snyder won 54 percent of the ballots counted Wednesday.
The city’s fire bond made up a little ground in Wednesday’s count, but it’s still failing. It needs 60 percent for approval; it has 58.9 percent with about 16,000 ballots left to count.
Verner said last week that if the fire bond failed, the city likely will try again in 2010, a prospect she said is concerning because the city already is expected to ask voters for an EMS levy next year.
“The needs won’t go away if the bond doesn’t pass,” Verner said.
Turnout in Spokane County neared 52 percent after about 22,000 ballots arrived in Wednesday’s mail. Elections Manager Mike McLaughlin said he expects 500 to 1,000 more eligible ballots today and only a few after that.
Another count is expected to be released this evening.
The two incumbents on the ballot for the Spokane School Board maintained 3 percentage-point leads over their opponents Wednesday.
Rocky Treppiedi, who is hoping for a third term, leads Laura Carder, a semiretired computer programmer, by 1,125 votes. Carder supports teaching creationism in schools and expresses concern that public schools try to indoctrinate students into becoming Marxists.
For the other seat, Gonzaga University Professor Jeff Bierman leads teacher Heidi Olson by 913 votes.
Carder said she had strong support from Christians and that newspaper, union and other endorsements for her opponents may have added to her appeal.
“People are getting dissatisfied with the power that the unions seem to have,” she said.
In both races, the Spokane Education Association, the union representing most of the district’s employees, endorsed candidates that lost in the primary. The group did not make picks for the general election.
Jenny Rose, president of the association, said Carder’s strong showing indicates that many voters likely didn’t spend much time learning about the candidates.
“We’re all stumped,” said Rose, who said she voted for Treppiedi.