|Mary Verner (D)
* 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
This race pits incumbent Mayor Mary Verner against challenger David Condon, a former congressional aide. Verner was the runaway favorite in the five-way August primary, capturing an unprecedented 60 percent of all primary ballots cast. Condon secured his spot as November challenger with a distant second place finish in the primary, capturing barely half as many votes.
- Incumbent mayor
His Words: “We have now for two years developed budgets that didn’t require reductions. Last year we added more police officers. We are looking at doing things smarter, not only our accountability standards and performance measures, but also at how we do economic development.”
His Pitch: As mayor, Condon has overseen falling crime rates, an increase in median household income and a steadying of the city’s finances. Also under his watch, the city cut $150 million off the plan that will significantly reduce pollution from entering the river, which helped prevent significant utility bill increases. Voters also approved a 20-year street levy and $64 million bond to revamp Riverfront Park.
Notable Experience: Incumbent mayor. Former district director and deputy chief of staff for Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers from 2005 until 2011. Served in U.S. Army from 1996 through 2005, including as a company commander at a combat support hospital.
Education: Graduated from Gonzaga Prep in 1992. Earned bachelor’s degree in finance from Boston College in 1996.
- Spokane, WA
Education: Graduated from Houston Academy in Dothan, Alabama, in 1973. Earned bachelor's degree in medical anthropology from Davidson College in 1988, master's degree in environmental studies from Yale University in 1992 and law degree from Gonzaga University in 1992.
Political experience: Appointed Deputy for Wildfire & Administration at Washington Department of Natural Resources in 2013 and continues in that role. Served as the mayor of Spokane from 2007-2011 and Spokane city councilwoman from 2004 to 2007. Member and past chairwoman of City of DuPont Tree Board and the DuPont Heirloom Orchard Committee. Member of the Board of National Institute of Building Sciences.
Work experience: Interim CEO, Spokane Tribe Enterprises from 2012 until 2013. Executive Director of the Upper Columbia United Tribes from 2002-2007. Served as director of natural resources for the Spokane Tribe of Indians for about 10 years. Adjunct professor at Whitworth University
Family: Single. Grown daughter and 18-year-old son. Two grandchildren.
To understand why the Spokane Police Department’s use-of-force training is under a microscope, consider this disconnect: Although the state’s top police trainer concluded that the fatal 2006 confrontation with unarmed janitor Otto Zehm was indefensible, the department’s own instructors and the city’s legal advisers have insisted that Spokane police officers were justified and handled the encounter appropriately. Here is how Spokane police Officer Terry Preuninger, a department training instructor, defended Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr.’s decision to beat and shock the retreating Zehm: “If the officer believes that they were in danger, then that use of force would be authorized,” Preuninger told a federal jury in October, adding that there doesn’t have to be a “factual basis” for the officer’s fear of harm.
Spokane city leaders are readying for a showdown with the Spokane Firefighters Union over a three-year contract negotiated between the firefighters and former Mayor Mary Verner in the final days of her administration. But challenging the deal could prove risky for the City Council and force the city to give the union a more generous contract than the one now before them.
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.
Addressing the crowd at his inaugural ball, Spokane Mayor David Condon said he will strive to be like the popular mayor who led the city when he was a boy, Jim Chase. More than 400 people attended Condon’s $75-a-plate “Our Town Gala” on Saturday night at the Lincoln Center in north Spokane. Proceeds will go to the Chase Youth Foundation, the financial arm of the youth commission that Chase fought to create when he was mayor in the 1980s.
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.
A recently retired state Supreme Court justice has agreed to serve on a city commission examining how the Spokane Police Department uses force. The membership of the city’s Use of Force Commission, which was created last year to review the city’s handling of the police confrontation that resulted in the death of Otto Zehm in 2006, was announced by City Council President Ben Stuckart at Monday’s council meeting. The council is set to confirm the membership next week.
Any idea what an “average middle-class family’s income in the city of Spokane” is? If you guessed $100,000, you’re way, way off.
Listen up, gang. I’m looking for volunteers to make cookies, cupcakes and zucchini bread for our first (and hopefully last) Mary Verner Bake Sale. We need to raise $140,000. That’s a lot of scratch, I know.
Former Mayor Mary Verner says she will not receive the $140,000 in back pay she requested in her final days in office. Verner told KHQ-TV that she received a “determination letter” from the city stating it had ruled against her request.
If you were hoping that Mayor David Condon would “manage” the city more effectively, take heart. His transition team’s report this week was spectacularly managerial: It was full to the brim of organizational jargon and cliché.
In her final days as Spokane’s mayor, Mary Verner decided that she wanted a raise. After voluntarily capping her annual pay at about $100,000 for four years – and pledging to do the same in a second term if re-elected – Verner changed her mind after losing the November election and issued a formal request Dec. 29 for about $140,000 in uncollected back pay from the final two years of her term. If that wasn’t possible, Verner requested that her retirement benefits be calculated as if she had earned the full mayoral salary of about $170,000 a year.
Former Spokane Mayor Mary Verner and the leadership of the city’s fire union tentatively agreed to a new contract in the final days of Verner’s term. But the deal still needs approval of the union’s membership and the new City Council. Mayor David Condon will be able to make a recommendation to the council, but he can’t otherwise stop the deal.
Spokane’s youth programs would remain independent from other nonprofit groups under a new plan that has support from Mayor David Condon. Former Mayor Mary Verner, whose 2012 budget eliminated the city’s Youth Department, originally proposed contracting with the YMCA or other nonprofit groups to oversee youth activities and the Chase Youth Commission. But after opposition emerged from the commission, she backed a plan crafted by General Administration Director Dorothy Webster to give the money and oversight responsibilities to the commission and its partner organization, the Chase Youth Foundation.
First real day on the job and Mayor David Condon makes noises about fulfilling his campaign promise to restore the public’s faith in the Spokane Police Department. Folks, I’m worried.
Scott Stephens grew up in Spokane and graduated from Gonzaga Preparatory School in 1979. He attended Eastern Washington University but never earned a degree. He was recently accepted to the University of Oklahoma and plans to earn his degree online. Stephens has been in law enforcement for 26 years, all of which have been spent with the Spokane Police Department. He started as an officer, was promoted to 1st Class patrolman, then spent six years as a sergeant before he was promoted to lieutenant. He was a lieutenant for 12 years, which included time overseeing the major crimes unit. He served as major for two years and was appointed acting assistant police chief in October when former Assistant Chief Jim Nicks took medical leave. He has experience as commander of investigations and in administration and patrol bureaus.
A 26-year veteran of the Spokane Police Department will lead the troubled agency, at least for the next few months. On his first business day as Spokane’s mayor, David Condon appointed Maj. Scott Stephens interim police chief and announced plans to review the department’s use-of-force policies and training.