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Spokane Valley mayor plans run for state House

Wed., April 24, 2013, midnight

Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey has announced plans to run for the Washington State House of Representatives 4th District seat if it’s vacated by the retirement of longtime Republican legislator Larry Crouse.

Towey’s term on the Spokane Valley City Council expires Dec. 31, and he will not accept donations or begin campaigning until January, Towey said.

“I’ve been talking to Larry from time to time,” Towey said. “He’s in the process of deciding whether to retire or not. If he does, certainly I’ll run for that empty seat. If he doesn’t, then I have a big decision to make.”

Crouse has struggled with health issues the last couple of years, and Towey said that is one reason he decided to run for the seat. “I have a lot of respect for Larry,” he said.

Towey, who will turn 70 in June, said he wants to help cities and counties but hasn’t yet focused on specific issues.

“In order for the state to help out cities and counties they’re going to have to put their own house in order first,” he said. “I see some strides toward that, but I don’t think they’re there yet.”

Towey, a retired Rosauers manager, was elected to his council seat in 2009, and his fellow council members have elected him mayor ever since. The city has a council-manager form of government.

He travels the country to run in marathons and has been married to his wife, Karen, for 48 years. “She’s almost used to 14 hours a day now,” he said. “She knows what it’s all about. She’s behind me 100 percent.”

Towey is not alone in his interest in Crouse’s seat. Spokane City Council member Nancy McLaughlin has said she may move to Spokane Valley to run for the seat if Crouse retires, and former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite has also expressed interest. All three are Republicans.

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