Spokane voters likely will have plenty of chances in the next few weeks to see David Condon on TV.
The candidate who is challenging Spokane Mayor Mary Verner has spent more than $40,000 on TV advertisements, according to campaign filings with the state Public Disclosure Commission.
One ad features former Spokane County Democratic Chairman Tom Keefe, who also is the first name listed among Condon supporters on a Condon flier that arrived at homes this week. Another focuses on the city’s water rates.
Condon, the former district director for Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, has been working to distance himself from the Republican label, although McMorris Rodgers recently headlined a fundraiser for his campaign.
He said Friday that the campaign is considering further TV ads depending on how much more his campaign raises. His original goal to top $400,000 appears unlikely. Still, he has a significant advantage in money, having raised about $202,000; Verner has raised $118,000.
Meanwhile, Verner’s campaign says it too will have TV ads, though they likely won’t be on the air this weekend.
Kip Nedved, who owns Nedved Advertising, said his company will produce ads for Verner’s campaign early next week.
Nedved said it probably would have been preferable to be on the air earlier, but noted that Condon’s campaign has a significant fundraising advantage. He added that people who fill out their ballots soon after they arrive likely already made their decision for mayor a long time ago. Ballots were mailed by the county on Wednesday and Thursday.
“It’s the people who are going to be voting in the final weekend, they’re the people that we’re going to be reaching,” Nedved said.
This week, the Verner campaign also released a statement responding to Keefe from the current chairman of the Spokane County Democratic Party, David Smith. Keefe has said he’s picked Condon specifically because of Verner’s handling of the cases surrounding Otto Zehm, a Spokane man who died as a result of a police confrontation in 2006. Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. has been charged with using excessive force and lying to investigators. The trial, which is being held in Yakima, started earlier this month.
“The best way for the citizens of Spokane to remove the cloud of doubt now hovering over City Hall is to hire a new mayor,” Keefe said in Condon’s ad.
But Smith said Verner is one of the “hardest working public servants” he’s encountered and says she’s brought a “sense of balance” to city government.
“Mary Verner was not mayor when Otto Zehm died. She was sworn into office a full 18 months after his death. She could have chosen to augment her political capital by joining in the public condemnation of Officer Thompson,” Smith said. “Instead, despite her professed grief for the family of Otto Zehm, she chose to accept the political risk inherent in standing up for Officer Thompson’s right to a fair trial. Doing so took courage. Standing up for the Constitution always does.”