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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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County Commission, Dist. 1

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Todd Mielke (R) 114,181 54.46%
John Roskelley (D) 95,482 45.54%

* 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 features a clash of two long-time political figures in Spokane County politics. Democrat John Roskelley is seeking to regain the seat he occupied for nine years from 1995 to 2004. Todd Mielke, a Republican successor, is seeking a third term.

Commissioners oversee county government, including budgets and employee contracts. They serve on countywide boards for transit, health, transportation, airport and clean air. In the primary election, only voters from within the commission district decide which candidates advance to the general election, Candidates advance through the primary election solely on the ballots cast by voters in their commission district, then Voters nominate candidates by district. Then, they run countywide in the general election. Salary: $100,942, including car and cellphone allowances.

The Candidates

Todd Mielke

Party:
Republican
Age:
56
City:
Nine Mile Falls, WA
Occupation:
County commissioner

John Roskelley

Party:
Democrat
Age:
72
City:
Mead, Washington

Work experience: Currently writing a book based on records from his father's life and has previously written a local guide to paddling the Columbia River. He has been a Washington State Growth Management Board Member, is a mountaineer and has worked as a photographer and educator on the environment and climbing. He has worked as a geology contractor for private companies and briefly worked for the United States Department of Mines as a geologist in the 1970s.

Political experience: Roskelley was first elected as a Spokane County commissioner in 1995 to serve the remainder of another commissioner's term and won a full term in 1996. He remained on the board of county commissioners until 2004, when he resigned to serve on the state's Growth Management Board. He unsuccessfully ran for the seat again in 2012. Education: Is a 1967 graduate of Shadle Park High School and graduated from Washington State University in 1971 with a degree in geology.

Family: Married and is the father of three children.

Pitch to voters: "If you want to change Olympia, you have to change who you're sending there. The more years you spend in Olympia, the more you get owned by lobbyist and outside interests. Voters need to take a look at that and change who they're sending and change the way Olympia runs."

Complete Coverage

Clark: That’s one solution to bloated government

I couldn’t be more impressed by the $2.8 million upgrade being planned for Spokane Indians Stadium* by the county. (* I truly hate using that sterile, commercialized A-word when referring to the name of our beloved ball field.)

Officials consider coroner inquests

Spokane County officials, rebuffed by their own medical examiner for years, want to take another look at using coroner inquests to help restore public trust in the integrity of investigations into police-involved fatalities without violating privacy protections. Commissioner Todd Mielke said he supports providing more transparency to investigations that sometimes take months or even years for prosecutors to decide whether to pursue criminal charges. Prosecutor Steve Tucker, Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich and other local law enforcement officials have in the past voiced support for broader use of coroner inquests, but county Medical Examiner Dr. John Howard opposes them.

Commissioners ready to drop pact with Spokane Tribe over proposed casino

Spokane County commissioners today are likely to terminate a 2010 agreement that prevented them from taking a stance on a proposed second tribal casino in Airway Heights. The action follows a vote this week by Airway Heights officials to undo the agreement, which created a formula of payments to the city and the county instead of taxes if the Spokane Tribe is able to build a casino.

Spokane opts for SCRAPS contract

After 30 years, SpokAnimal will no longer serve as the city of Spokane’s animal control agency. The Spokane City Council voted unanimously Monday to approve a 20-year contract to join the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service beginning in 2014.

Mapping the Vote: Mielke leads Roskelley

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Republicans Mielke, O’Quinn lead commission races

Republicans are poised to retain control of the Spokane County Board of Commissioners as two races on Tuesday’s ballot were leaning toward the GOP candidates in initial returns. Republican Commissioner Todd Mielke was leading Democrat John Roskelley for the District 1 seat.

French, Mielke ask to reverse casino deal

Two Spokane County commissioners are asking the Bureau of Indian Affairs to overturn a 2010 contract that prevents the county from taking sides on the Spokane Tribe’s proposed casino in Airway Heights. County Commissioners Al French and Todd Mielke voted on Oct. 24 to send the request to the BIA’s new top official, Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn.

Judge, county argue pay

A Spokane County Superior Court judge believes she’s being treated unfairly by the county when it comes to cashing out unused vacation time, saying many of her colleagues were allowed to collect tens of thousands of dollars in such compensation while she’s being denied. Superior Court Judge Annette Plese sued the county over $15,800 worth of paid vacation hours she believes she’s due from 2009, when she ended her service as a Spokane County District Court judge and was elected to her current position on the Spokane County Superior Court bench.

Mielke puts self on shaky ethical ground

Does Todd Mielke understand conflict of interest? Does he understand and value the proposition that elected officials should operate on behalf of the public and not their personal interests? And, crucially, does he value the fact that in the realm of ethics, appearances matter nearly as much as actions?

Focusing on the long term

Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke thrives in public life. He’s been both an elected official and private legislative lobbyist. Of the two, he said, he prefers holding office.

Roskelley seeks county seat

John Roskelley – international mountaineer, author and environmentalist – wants to return to the job he held for nearly a decade as Spokane County Commissioner. Roskelley, a Democrat, held the District 1 seat from 1995 to 2004.

Developer accused of fraud

Spokane County commissioners paid $685,000 in an out-of-court settlement two years ago to a prominent local business family, but some members of that family are alleging in a lawsuit that part of the claim may have involved fraud. The allegations against developer Harley Douglass were brought to the county’s attention nearly eight months ago by his brother, Lancze Douglass.

Officials agree on criminal justice collaboration

Spokane city and county leaders today announced the latest step in a proposal to combine the region’s criminal justice system.

County racetrack financials in question. Again

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Democrat quotes Knezovich’s praise

Republican Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has given a boost to the campaign of a Democrat running for state Legislature in Spokane Valley, a move that highlights division in the Republican Party about incumbent state Rep. Matt Shea. Knezovich gave permission to Amy Biviano, who is challenging Shea’s re-election bid, to use a quote praising her position on domestic violence issues on her campaign material. He also agreed to be photographed shaking her hand in front of the Spokane County Courthouse.

Judge declares Roskelley can run

Former Spokane County Commissioner John Roskelley on Thursday beat back a challenge to his candidacy to reclaim his old office. Visiting Superior Court Judge Allen C. Nielson ruled that Roskelley, a Democrat, is qualified to run in the District 1 commissioner race against incumbent Republican Todd Mielke.

Roskelley will get his name on ballot

Spokane County Commission hopeful John Roskelley’s name will be on the ballot. A Republican-backed challenge of the Democrat’s voter registration was dismissed on Wednesday, clearing the way for Roskelley’s name to appear on the primary election ballot in the District 1 county commissioner race against Republican incumbent Todd Mielke.

Roskelley challenge dismissed

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Doug Clark: Roskelley’s candidacy is all downhill from here

Welcome to Clark Knows It All. I will now provide answers to the pressing problems that nag at us like a stage mother at a recital.