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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Parker challeger, Wayne Spitzer, used to big challenges

Wayne Kyle Spitzer isn’t without ‘magical thinking.’

Just check out his 1990s film work on YouTube.

Spitzer, who has become a prominent voice in Occupy Spokane, recently announced on Facebook that he will challenge state House Rep. Kevin Parker, R-Spokane, in the August primary as a Democrat.

Parker has raised more than $140,000 for his reelection bid and has obtained a reputation as nearly unbeatable in only two terms serving his House district that includes much of Spokane. No one even bothered to challenge Parker in 2010.

“I don’t have any delusions about our chances, and yet I don’t think it’s impossible,” Spitzer said in an interview at Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown’s farewell party on Wednesday at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. “It takes a leap of faith and just a little dose of magical thinking.”

Spitzer, 45, has had many jobs since he graduated from University High School in 1984, but he probably is best known as an independent filmmaker, who produced science fiction programming and short films, including the series “Dead of Night” which ran on a cable access channel in Spokane in the mid-1990s. And, yes, some of his work is thankfully available on YouTube. Here’s a Spokesman-Review story about “Dead of Night” from 1996.

Asked this week about his film work, Spitzer seemed a bit embarrassed by some of it, but he said he is proud of a 22-minute film he directed called “Shadows in the Dark.” That film is available for purchase on Amazon.

Spitzer, who has an English bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University and master's from Eastern Washington University, said he became active in the local Democratic Party through his work in the Occupy movement and stepped up to challenge Parker only after it became clear that Democrats with more conventional candidate biographies would not come forward.

“It’s a renegade campaign,” Spitzer said. “It’s really going to be something different.”

Spitzer has perhaps taken on even bigger challenges than Parker, at least based on what he once told the local Fox affiliate’s news program.

“We would very much like to raise low-budget science fiction horror to the level of art, and preposterous as that sounds, I think we’re up to the challenge,” he told Fox 28 news.

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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