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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spin Control

Yo, would-be candidates: Filing starts Monday

People thinking about running for local council or district offices who haven't yet made up their minds need to make a decision pretty quick. Filing week starts Monday morning.

On the ballot this year are council seats in cities and towns throughout Washington, as well as many mayoral slots. The City of Spokane has three openings -- one for each council district -- and the City of Spokane Valley has four at-large seats on this year's ballot. 

Neither of those cities have a mayor's race -- Spokane's isn't until 2015 and Spokane Valley's mayor is chosen from the council -- but Cheney, Deer Park, Fairfield, Latah, Medical Lake, Millwood and Rockford are all electing mayors this year.

Many school districts, fire districts, water districts and cemetery districts also have positions on the ballot.

Most races are non-partisan, but Eastern Washington's 7th Legislative District has a partisan race to fill a state Senate seat. Bob Morton resigned his seat at the end of last year, and John Smith, a Colville businessman, was appointed to fill the position at the start of the legislative session. To retain the seat, Smith will have to survive the August primary and win the November election.

Smith is a Republican, but under the state's Top 2 primary system, the two candidates with the most votes in the primary advance to the general election regardless of party. In the strongly Republican 7th District, it's not unusual for two GOP candidates to be on the general election ballot. 

Most candidates have until the elections office in their county closes on Friday afternoon to file for office. Candidates for offices in districts that cover more than one county, such as the 7th Legislative District, file with the Secretary of State in Olympia.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.