A candidate for State Senator, Legislative District 4 (Spokane Valley) in the 2011 Washington General Election
City: Spokane Valley, WA
Baxter owns and operates three companies that provide credit-card and teller-machine services to other small businesses. He advocates low taxes and limited government.
- Web: votejeffbaxter.com
Spokane County election officials took advantage Thursday of an opportunity to test their vote-counting machines for free. The county Canvassing Board – Auditor Vicky Dalton, Commissioner Al French and County Attorney Jim Emacio – reversed course and decided to use the machines for a mandatory recount in a close Spokane City Council race.
Former state Sen. Jeff Baxter is paying for a partial recount of ballots in his unsuccessful bid to retain his seat despite losing the race by more than 3,400 votes. Baxter’s opponent in the contest, Mike Padden, was sworn in as senator representing the Spokane Valley’s 4th Legislative District on Tuesday soon after the Spokane County Canvassing Board certified the results.
Because of a quirk in state law, Spokane’s 4th Legislative District will have one senator for the first day of the upcoming special session and a different senator for the rest of it. Republican Mike Padden is the apparent winner of the race to fill a seat that came open earlier this year when veteran Sen. Bob McCaslin resigned for health reasons. Padden has a mathematically insurmountable lead over Jeff Baxter, a fellow Republican appointed to the seat earlier this year.
Spokane Valley’s 4th Legislative District is so Republican that voters have elected the GOP candidate 38 times in the 40 legislative elections since 1980. So Republican that both candidates in this year’s special state Senate race are Republicans. But as incumbent Jeff Baxter, 51, and former state Rep. Mike Padden, 64, split the GOP vote, it could be independents and Democrats who decide who will fill the final year of the state Senate seat.