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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane City Council, northeast council district

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Kate Burke (N) 4,799 58.32%
Tim Benn (N) 3,430 41.68%

* 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

The Candidates

Kate Burke

Party:
No party
Age:
31
Occupation:
Legislative aide for state Sen. Andy Billig

Her words: "After working in the nonprofit sector for so long, and then changing over to writing policy with Sen. Billig, I saw how many more people's lives you can touch with good policy. I've always wanted to run, since probably the seventh grade, but that kind of solidified the fact that I was doing the right thing." 

Her pitch: A career spent advocating on behalf of nonprofit groups, like the Spokane Edible Tree Project and Project Hope, has prepared Burke to champion projects affecting northeast Spokane at City Hall, she said. A vision of that older, more impoverished part of town that is revitalized by targeted investments like what has occurred in Hillyard and other neighborhoods in town will drive her work at City Hall. Burke also said her contacts from working in Olympia will allow her to tap into relationships that could benefit Spokane through grants and other opportunities.

Work experience: Current legislative aide to state Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane. Previously served on board of directors for Project Hope, a West Central-based nonprofit promoting job training and other social services through training on small urban farms. Founded the Spokane Edible Tree Project, a volunteer group collecting fruit from trees in public areas of Spokane that are donated to local food banks.

Education: Received associate's degree from Spokane Falls Community College. Graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 2007.

Political experience: Filed to run for Spokane Public Schools school board, but dropped out to eventually support Jerrall J. Haynes.

Family: Unmarried, but has a partner. Mom, dad and brother all live in Spokane. 

Neighborhood: Nevada Heights

Tim Benn

Party:
No party
Age:
42
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. 

Neighborhood: Minnehaha

Complete Coverage

Kate Burke takes oath for Spokane City Council seat

Spokane’s newest city councilwoman takes the seat that will be vacated by longtime Councilwoman Amber Waldref, representing Spokane’s northeast district. A gathering of friends, family and local lawmakers observed her ceremonial swearing-in at City Hall on Thursday night.

Breean Beggs, Kate Burke, Candace Mumm coast to victories in Spokane City Council races

Early ballot returns indicate the Spokane City Council will retain its progressive-leaning majority, as voters gave comfortable leads to a slate of candidates endorsed by Ben Stuckart in what became a costly and sometimes bitter campaign in the final few weeks.

Stuckart abruptly ends City Council meeting amid criticism of sexual harassment handling

The city council president, who recently apologized for his handling of sexual harassment allegations brought to him by political ally and city council candidate Kate Burke, abruptly ended a meeting Monday night where speakers urged lawmakers to take harassment seriously.

Fundraising, outside spending reach historic highs in Spokane City Council races

For the first time in at least a decade, spending by outside groups in this year’s City Council races reached all corners of the city. Through Friday, more than $372,000 had been raised for the three of the contests that will be decided next week, with 1 in 4 of those dollars coming from a group working independently of the candidates.

Council candidate Kate Burke’s story of sexual harassment prompts apology from political ally Ben Stuckart

The candidate for Spokane’s City Council seat in the northeast said she accepts the council president’s invitation to work on sexual harassment policies at City Hall, after she was critical of his response to her own story of harassment by former City Councilman Richard Rush. Burke said she’s having to unfairly answer questions about the timing of her story, given the approaching election.

Sue Lani Madsen: Spokane City Council’s focus on national issues takes away from its attention to local problems

There is a national progressive movement using municipal legislation to drive state and federal policy through the courts. Does Spokane want an increasingly political City Council, or one that focuses on city business?

Editorial: Burke gets the nod for City Council

As campaigners, Kate Burke and Tim Benn say similar things, but they have support from opposing political forces. Voting for either will require a leap of faith if the goal is to place a nonpartisan, moderate person on the council.

Northeast Spokane City Council candidates campaigning in defiance of partisan labels

Kate Burke and Tim Benn say the problems facing the district they hope to represent transcend party politics. But a clear ideological divide has sprouted around their candidacies.

Beggs and Mumm post strong showings in Spokane City Council primaries, Burke and Benn face off in northeast

The two incumbents on the primary ballots for Spokane City Council earned the majority of votes counted Tuesday in their districts. Kate Burke will square off against Tim Benn in northeast Spokane.

Editorial: Alexander a fresh voice for council

Alexander strikes us as an independent thinker who would provide a fresh perspective.

Open City Council seat in northeast Spokane draws 3 challengers advocating change at City Hall

With the departure of City Councilwoman Amber Waldref due to term limits, three candidates seeking their first election to political office want to change the way the city engages with neighborhoods in the northeast part of town. Kate Burke, Tim Benn and Kathryn Alexander bring different ideologies and political experiences to the race, but all agree the focus needs to shift back to neighborhoods in that area of the city.

Three candidates seek open seat in northeast Spokane council district

Voters in Spokane’s northeast council district will have a contested primary, choosing between at least three potential replacements for Amber Waldref, who cannot run for re-election because of the city’s term limit ordinance.

Two candidates have already filed to replace outgoing City Councilwoman Amber Waldref

Nonprofit leader Kate Burke and Bemiss neighborhood advocate Kathryn Alexander have both filed already to compete for Amber Waldref’s seat in northeastern Spokane. Waldref, who will term out of office in November 2017, says she’ll take some time to spend with her family before pondering another run for office.