Spokane County Commissioner Bonnie Mager conceded defeat Wednesday in her bid for a second term. The election is to be certified Friday, and the latest results show challenger Al French with 50.8 percent of the vote to Mager’s 49.2 percent.
“I am proud of the job that I’ve done and the clean campaign that I ran,” Mager said.She said she is “especially proud” of saving the county nearly $3 million by negotiating agreements for Spokane to share revenue from a West Plains annexation area and for Airway Heights to provide sewer and water service to the Spokane County Raceway in exchange for land.
Mager viewed the racetrack deal as a way to make the best of a bad situation. She opposed purchase of the bankrupt raceway, which has cost the county millions of dollars while officials are struggling to maintain basic services.
The issue figured in her race against French, who said he had “incomplete information” in September 2009 when he said the purchase was “a good overall move.”
Mager also took a cautious approach to plans to replace the Geiger Corrections Center and upgrade the Spokane County Jail. She argued unsuccessfully that, in view of a sharp drop in inmate counts this summer, county officials should slow down and re-evaluate the need.
A Democrat, Mager defeated Republican incumbent Phil Harris four years ago. French is a Republican and a former Spokane city councilman.