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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Kearney withdraws from Spokane City Council race, endorses Jones

The race for a City Council seat representing Northwest Spokane already is down to two.

Karen Kearney, chairwoman of the Balboa South Indian Trail Neighborhood Council, late last week withdrew her candidacy for the seat currently held by Councilman Steve Corker, who is running for City Council president.

The remaining candidates are Steve Salvatori, owner of the Spokane Entrepreneurial Center; and Joy Jones, program manager of Mentoring Children of Promise, a youth program run by Goodwill Industries.

Kearney said she decided to withdraw because of "family health issues."

"Due to increases in demands upon my time outside of the electoral process, I cannot devote the time required for a successful campaign," she said.

Kearney came in second in the 2009 primary for a Spokane City Council seat and lost to City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin in the general election.

Her withdrawal is a boost for Jones, a newcomer to city politics who describes herself as a "progressive candidate." Kearney said she is backing Jones' bid.

"She shares the same vision that I do for Spokane in reference to public safety, fire and police, the infrastructure -- maintaining it -- and the neighborhoods," Kearney said.

With only two candidates in the race, Jones and Salvatori are guaranteed a spot on the November ballot as long as a write-in candidate doesn't emerge.

Jones, 34, said last week that she decided to run because was tired for waiting "for a candidate to run in my district that I could get excited about."

Like many candidates running this year, Jones said her focus will be on jobs and encouraging small businesses and improving city infrastructure.

Jones said she supported the City Council's decision to approve the $20 annual vehicle tab tax and to set aside 10 percent of revenue from the fee for sidewalk improvements.

"We need to have a dedicated source to pay for roads," Jones said.

Jonathan Brunt
Jonathan Brunt joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. He is the government editor. He previously was a reporter who covered Spokane City Hall, Spokane County government and public safety.

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