Get ready for the final stretch of the 2011 election season.
In Washington, ballots for the Nov. 8 general election have begun arriving in the mail. Idaho voters still cast their ballots at the polls.
Although it’s an “off-year election,” much is at stake.
Spokane voters, for example, will decide who controls City Hall for another four years. Mayor Mary Verner, who coasted to a record-setting primary election win to secure her spot on the general election ballot, faces a spirited challenge from former congressional aide David Condon. Leadership of the City Council is up for grabs, too, with former Mayor and Council President Dennis Hession trying to stage a political comeback but facing civic activist Ben Stuckart. Three contested races for council seats also are on the ballot.
In Spokane Valley, voters will decide who gets the nod in four contested races for council seats, and whether the contentious Appleway couplet concept should be scrapped and two-way traffic restored along parts of East Sprague Avenue. There’s also a race for the remainder of the late state Sen. Bob McCaslin’s legislative seat.
On the following pages, you’ll find our guide to understanding contested races in this year’s general election.
You’ll get to know the candidates and the issues, and will find how to access numerous resources with the latest news and information, including The Spokesman-Review’s online election center.
This guide represents the work of reporters Alison Boggs, Jonathan Brunt, Jim Camden, John Craig, Nina Culver, Jody Lawrence-Turner and Lisa Leinberger.