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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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City Council President

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Ben Stuckart (N) 29,625 53.24%
Dennis Hession 26,024 46.76%

* Race percentages are calculated with data from the Secretary of State's Office, which omits write-in votes from its calculations when there are too few to affect the outcome. The Spokane County Auditor's Office may have slightly different percentages than are reflected here because its figures include any write-in votes.

About The Race

Former mayor and City Council President Dennis Hession is staging a comeback campaign after a four-year hiatus from Spokane politics, facing community activist Ben Stuckart.

The Candidates

Ben Stuckart

Party:
No party
Age:
49
City:
Spokane, WA

Why running: “I’ve seen a lot of great things happen, I also see a lot of challenges. I want to continue working for the citizens of Spokane,” Stuckart said. “I think I’ve been very effective as a council president and we’ve done a lot of great programs, but I want to see some of them to the finish.”

His pitch: Stuckart said he believes he’s the best candidate to address the city’s housing crisis, which he believes is the root of the homelessness issue.

He also points to his accomplishments as the city’s legislative leader for nearly eight years and the city’s continued economic growth.

Political experience: Served two terms as City Council president.

Work experience: Former executive director of Communities in Schools of Spokane County. Former regional manager at TicketsWest, 2001 to 2007. Spokesman for the 2010 campaign in support of the Children’s Investment Fund initiative, which voters  rejected.

Education: Graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 1990. Earned bachelor’s degree in political science from Gonzaga University in 2000 and master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University in 2006.

Family: Married. Has no children.

Dennis Hession

Party:
Age:
70
City:
Spokane, WA
Occupation:
Attorney and consultant

Education: Graduated from Judge Memorial Catholic High School, Salt Lake City, in 1968. Psychology bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University, 1972. Law degree from Gonzaga University in 1980.

Career: Attorney and consultant. Director of special projects for Blue Water Technologies, a firm specializing in wastewater treatment. Served as interim director of the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture for about a year starting in 2008.

Political: Elected to Spokane City Council, 2001, Elected City Council president, 2003. Appointed Spokane mayor, 2005 (following recall of Mayor Jim West). Long-time member of Spokane Park Board. Served on numerous governmental and nonprofit boards.

Family: Married. Has four grown children.

Complete Coverage

Condon to keep salary at $100K for 2012

Spokane Mayor David Condon will hold his salary at $100,000 this year as promised, despite the recent controversy over his predecessor’s pay. But he said he will review his options and the city’s legal opinions and may take more next year.

District seeks input on new Spokane schools chief

While area leaders suggest a variety of traits are needed in the next head of Spokane Public Schools, they all agree that the new superintendent must have one characteristic in particular: innovation. “Someone who realizes we are at a crisis and that we can’t just keep spending money on a system that’s broken,” said Carol Landa-McVicar, a trustee of Community Colleges of Spokane. Someone, she added, who thinks: “What are we doing wrong? What are we doing right? What can we adopt?”

Body cameras considered for Spokane police officers

Spokane’s elected leaders are ready to push for the use of body cameras on police officers to record their interactions with the public. The Spokane City Council on Feb. 6 will vote on a resolution outlining its goals for reforming the Spokane Police Department in the aftermath of an officer being convicted of violating the civil rights of a Spokane man who died in police custody.

Divided council may find plenty in common

Sitting with Ben Stuckart for coffee, I thought I heard The Who whispering in my ear: Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss? It doesn’t seem so. As president of the Spokane City Council, Stuckart is one of several new, or new-ish, faces at City Hall these days. He’s a first-timer in elected office, a young man who seems temperate and measured, a guy with “progressive tendencies,” as he puts it, who’s the legislative leader of a new conservative council. It’s an interesting time in city politics, with new people in the mayor’s office and on the council, with the good and bad that newness entails.

Stuckart rearranges chairs, agendas

None

Votes usher in new power

There’s a new majority in town. The Spokane City Council’s new, more conservative majority flexed its muscle in its first meeting of the year on Monday when it voted 4-2 to strip an automatic appointment of the Spokane City Council president to the Spokane Airport Board.

Hats on, hats off

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New council already has its feathers ruffled

The honeymoon period for the new Spokane City Council may have ended before its first regular meeting, with a debate about which council member should represent the city on the Spokane Airport Board highlighting the dynamics of the new council. Voters in November elected four new members to the seven-person council, resulting in a more conservative majority. The number of members affiliated with the Republican Party is now four, compared with one of seven on the previous council. Even so, the council will be led by new City Council President Ben Stuckart, who was backed by the Democratic Party.

Changes begin among city staff as three top administrators depart

Even before he officially took office, Mayor-elect David Condon shook up City Hall on Friday when he informed three top administrators that they won’t be back to serve with him as mayor. Receiving notice were City Administrator Ted Danek, Public Works and Utilities Director Dave Mandyke and General Administration Director Dorothy Webster.

Stuckart takes oath for City Council post

Incoming Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart promised Wednesday during his swearing in ceremony to help City Hall become a happier place for the people who are being served by it. He said he wants citizens to feel comfortable appearing at council meetings on matters they deem important.

Condon to take oath as mayor

The new faces of Spokane city government will take their oaths of offices on three successive days late next week. Mayor-elect David Condon will be sworn in at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 30 in front of the Riverfront Park Clocktower.

Health district funds chopped 8.7 percent

Local public health officials voted Wednesday to cut 8.7 percent from the Spokane Regional Health District’s budget for next year. The move, announced last month, included several layoffs and changes to programs that help babies and children receive care for birth defects and other special needs.

Candidates prepare for results

None

Many candidates, issues familiar from past ballots

Washington voters checking their ballots this weekend for the first time may feel a sense of déjà vu. They voted last year on proposals to get the state out of the liquor business, and in 2008 to require more training for home health care workers. And while it isn’t immediately clear from the ballot language, the initiative on road and bridge tolls resurrects some of last year’s initiative requiring supermajorities in the Legislature.

Hession vs. Stuckart, Tab Tax

Former Mayor Dennis Hession and Ben Stuckart, director of Communities in Schools of Spokane County, debate the $20 annual vehicle tab tax that was approved earlier this year. Hession and Stuckart are running for Spokane City Council president.

Hession vs. Stuckart, Public Comment

Former Spokane Mayor Dennis Hession and Ben Stuckart, director of Communities in Schools of Spokane County, explain how they would run meetings differently than Council President Joe Shogan if they are elected council president.