After more than a week of watching votes trickle in, Ben Wick can finally feel comfortable that he has won a position on the Spokane Valley City Council.
Wick was ahead by only 20 votes on election night, but he has steadily increased his lead ever since. As of Wednesday night his lead was at 368 votes over Marilyn Cline. He received 10,667 votes to her 10,299. Only 100 votes remain to be counted in all areas of Spokane County and those results will be released by the Spokane County Elections Office on Nov. 28. The election results will be certified on Nov. 29.
“It was very close,” Wick said. “I reminisce about the days of the election results being known the night of the election.”
His win has been a long time coming. Wick originally ran for a seat on the council when the city incorporated in 2003, back when he was still a student at Eastern Washington University. Since then he has applied to fill a vacant council seat three times. Each time he was interviewed as a finalist but wasn’t selected.
At first it seemed as if the fifth try would slip through his grasp as well. He was one of four candidates vying for the Position 6 seat being vacated by Bill Gothmann in the August primary election. He came in a distant second, a full 15 percentage points behind Cline. To many it appeared that Cline was the heir apparent, particularly since she had the support of the Positive Change council majority. Cline did not return a message seeking comment.
After the primary Wick began to spend more time campaigning. “I did more doorbelling and trying to reach out to people and sign-waving,” he said.
Wick isn’t deterred by the fact that he will be the only non-Positive Change member of the council. “I don’t see that as a problem,” he said. “I’m hoping we can all work together. We all want to do what’s best for the citizens and what’s best for the city.”
He wants to work toward establishing a long-term plan and direction for the city. “I look forward to being on the council,” he said. “I’m excited to be a contributing member.”
Wick, 29, is a lifelong resident of Spokane Valley and a graduate of East Valley High School. His family has lived in the area for generations and Wick’s great-grandfather once owned a dairy farm where Interstate 90 and Sprague now intersect. He has worked as an IT system administrator at Goodrich Corp. since 2004.
Wick is scheduled to be sworn in during the Dec. 27 council meeting. He will take his seat on the dais during the council’s first meeting in January on Jan. 10.