With about 500 ballots left to count countywide from the Nov. 5 election, one race appears headed to a mandatory recount.
For position 1 on the Latah City Council, incumbent Patricia Neumann and challenger Melanie Meagher, who currently holds a different seat on the council, both have 40 votes.
A recount must be done if there is less than half a percentage point difference in the vote totals.
Another close contest that may trigger a recount is the one between between incumbent Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioner Ron Schmidt and former Spokane Valley Mayor Mike DeVleming. The two are currently separated by 120 votes, a difference of 0.56 percent, with Schmidt in the lead.
In Spokane Valley, Ed Pace has cemented his lead over City Council incumbent Gary Schimmels, winning by 523 votes. He vastly outspent Schimmels, raising more than $15,000 and spending it all on advertising. Schimmels chose to run a low-key campaign, promised to raise and spend no more than $5,000 and didn’t start his advertising push until ballots were mailed out.
Incumbent Councilman Chuck Hafner won re-election handily with 65 percent of the vote. He received nearly the same number of votes as planning commission chairman Bill Bates, who was running against former planning commissioner Fred Beaulac for the council seat being vacated by his half-brother, Tom Towey.
Incumbent Rod Higgins, who was appointed to his seat after a coin toss broke a tie vote, won his race against Linda Thompson with 51 percent of the vote. Thompson was on the losing side of the February coin toss.
New leadership is coming to two small towns.
Douglas Arnold was elected mayor of Latah with 66 percent of the vote over Charisma Conklin. Incumbent mayor Teresa Galvin, who recently resigned her position, only received 40 percent of the vote in a race against Larry La Bolle for a council seat. Rockford Mayor Micki Harnois only received 34 percent of the vote in her re-election bid, losing to former Councilman Steve Meyer.
A race for Fairfield City Council that was tied on election night now has a clear winner, with Alene Felgenhauer taking 57 percent of the vote over John Jesseph. In Spokane County Fire District 9, Jim Bennett survived what was once a three-way race to win with 53 percent of the vote.
The final ballot count will be Monday and the Spokane County Elections Office will certify the results Tuesday.