Mayoral race undecided
The results of this month’s Spokane County election were certified on Tuesday, but the counting isn’t over.
Elections officials next week will recount by hand the votes cast in the race for Airway Heights mayor.
City Councilman Patrick Rushing’s lead over incumbent Mayor Matthew Pederson grew in the latest tally to two votes. He led by just one vote after the previous count, on Nov. 10. The extra vote came from an Airway Heights resident who cast a ballot by Election Day but either didn’t sign it or submitted a signature that differed from the one on file, said Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton. Voters who cast ballots with signature problems are informed by the county. They have until the vote is certified to present a signature.
Rushing has 281 votes to Pederson’s 279. State law requires races within 0.25 percent to be recounted by hand.
Dalton said the recount is scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 2.
Thirty-three voters in Airway Heights opted not to make a selection in the mayoral contest.
“That’s what’s so important about people getting their ballots, researching their decision and marking their vote because every single vote does count,” Dalton said.
Both candidates said Tuesday that they’re satisfied with the process.
Pederson said he hasn’t decided whether he will observe the recount.
Rushing said his mother, a former elections precinct volunteer, likely will observe the recount in his place. He said he is scheduled Monday to have his tonsils removed because he has been diagnosed with tonsil cancer.
He said he’s optimistic about his health and the final outcome of the vote.
“I’m cautiously thrilled,” he said.