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Thursday, November 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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About this race

The three-member Spokane County Commission wields both legislative and executive power over the county’s 490,000 residents. Position 1, which represents roughly the northern third of the county, is currently held by Republican Nancy McLaughlin, but a surprising August primary left her no chance of retaining the seat. All voters countywide will vote in the race.

McLaughlin was beat by her GOP rival, Josh Kerns, a legislative aide backed by state Rep. Matt Shea and other lawmakers. The other challenger, Spokane City Councilwoman Candace Mumm, won the highest percentage of the primary vote, but she faces a challenge running as a Democrat in a county that leans Republican.

Mumm has touted her business acumen and experience on the city of Spokane’s Plan Commission. Kerns said he would use his relationships in Olympia to loosen restrictions on county government.

In recent debates, the candidates have sparred over taxes, spending, development and regulation. Kerns has attacked Mumm for approving a City Council measure that requires businesses to pay employees up to five sick days a year. Mumm has questioned Kerns’ political ties to Shea, who recently stirred controversy by suggesting a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy was complicit in a triple homicide.

County Commissioner, district 1, Spokane County

Candidate Votes Pct
Josh Kerns (R) 107,859 53.95%
Candace Mumm (D) 92,058 46.05%

* 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.

Related coverage

Editorial: McLaughlin and Mumm for County Commission

Mumm and McLaughlin are more experienced and pragmatic than Kerns. We would like to see them advance to the general election.

Spokane City Councilwoman Candace Mumm files to run for county commission

Candace Mumm will seek to be the first Democrat since John Roskelley in 2004 to represent the northern portion of Spokane County on the commission.

Sunday Spin: Given the chance, Mumm would have defended leave ordinance

Friction between Spokane lawmaker and Spokane City Council.