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Washington Voices

Pace leads in fundraising

Sat., Aug. 31, 2013

With the primary election over, most candidates have turned their attention to raising money for the November general election. Some Spokane Valley City Council candidates have been more successful in this than others, with challenger Ed Pace collecting more than $11,000 as of Wednesday and political newcomer Donald F. Morgan collecting only $167.

Pace’s top contributor is retired businessman Jack Pring, with the maximum donation of $1,800. Duane Alton, a retired tire shop owner now known for his Citizens for Responsible Taxation group that campaigns against school district levies across Washington State and North Idaho, has donated $1,100.

Other top contributors include $500 from retiree Allen Cook, Crown West Realty, Precision Cutting Technologies (owned by former Councilwoman Brenda Grassel and her husband) and $1,000 from his wife, Thuan Pace. He has also received $100 from the Spokane County Constitutional Republicans and $250 from the Washington Liberty political action committee, which lists Grassel and Rep. Matt Shea among its committee officers.

On his website,, Pace said he received an “Outstanding” rating from the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights and a five-star rating from We Believe, We Vote, a group that makes its recommendations based on which candidate “better fits a Biblical model for governance.”

Pace is running against incumbent Gary Schimmels, who filed paperwork with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission stating that he would not collect or spend more than $5,000. As such Schimmels is not required to report donations received.

Appointed incumbent Rod Higgins comes in a distant second with $5,865 collected. His top donors include Pring ($900), Alton ($500) and the Opportunity Body Shop ($500). Other contributions have included $200 from Precision Cutting Technologies, $200 from Councilman Dean Grafos, $200 from Grafos Investments and $100 from the Spokane Valley Republican Action Club.

Higgins is running against Linda Thompson, executive director of the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council. Thompson went head to head with Higgins for a vacant seat on the council last year; the council split three to three. Higgins won the coin toss that broke the tie vote.

As of Wednesday Thompson had raised $1,133 in donations, including a $600 personal loan. She had received no donation larger than $125.

Incumbent Chuck Hafner has collected a little less than $4,000 in contributions and has a big lead over his opponent, Donald F. Morgan. Morgan has raised $167, which includes a personal loan of $50.

Hafner’s top supporters include Pring ($500), retiree Howard Herman ($300) and Crown West Realty ($200). He has also received $100 donations from planning commissioner and fellow candidate Bill Bates, as well as Mayor Tom Towey and Grafos.

Bates, Towey’s half-brother, is one of two candidates running for the seat Towey is vacating. He has collected $1,990 in donations, including $500 from Pring, $200 from Gordon Curry of Gordon Curry Real Estate and $200 from Towey. He has also received contributions of $100 from Hafner and Grafos.

Bates is running against former planning commissioner Fred Beaulac, who has collected $1,600 in donations. His top supporters include retiree Louise Deroche ($500) and Jayne Beaulac ($300).

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