Party: Independent R
City: Spokane, WA
Occupation: Co-owner of day-care center
His words: "I don’t think a lot has changed. I still don’t see a City Council that’s focused on the issues that I’ve heard about over the years, being active in the community."
His pitch: A long history as a district resident and previous work lobbying City Hall for school safety measures in the northeast are both reasons voters should support Benn's candidacy, he said. He criticized the current City Council for focusing too much on ideological issues and being forced to backtrack on certain decisions when he said they stepped outside their authority. More needs to be done to inform residents in the district about planned construction ahead of completion of the North Spokane Corridor highway, he said, and the homelessness issue in the town should be addressed by restricting the flow of illicit drugs onto Spokane's streets.
Work experience: Owns a child day care center, Little Precious Ones, with his wife in the Minnehaha neighborhood of North Spokane.
Education: Graduated from Faith Christian Academy in 1996. Received associate degrees from Spokane Community College in general business, business management and marketing in 2005. Received child development associate’s degree from Blue Prints for Learning in 2011.
Political experience: Defeated in 2017 campaign for the northeast district seat by City Councilwoman Kate Burke. Defeated in 2012 and 2014 general elections as Republican candidate to represent Legislative District 3 in Washington House of Representatives, both to Marcus Riccelli. Current chairman of Minnehaha Neighborhood Council. Led effort to challenge day-care regulations that he says are duplicative and burdensome.
Family: Married. Two adult sons, and a daughter in high school.
Each of the child care providers gathered in the backyard of Gib and Liz Kocherhans’ north Spokane home has a story. The Kocherhanses, who own this single-story rancher where children have played for more than 20 years, point to the water feature in their front yard that’s been deemed dangerous.