A candidate for Spokane County Commissioner, District 3, Spokane County in the 2018 Washington General Election, Nov. 6
City: Spokane, Washington
Education: Graduated from Western High School in Las Vegas. Majored in architecture and minored in business finance at the University of Idaho.
Political experience: Has served three terms as a Spokane County commissioner. Served two terms on the Spokane City Council from 2002 to 2009. Served as the Nevada-Lidgerwood Neighborhood Council president from 1995 to 2001.
Work experience: Served in the Marine Corps from 1969 to 1972. Worked as an officer candidate school instructor in Quantico, Virginia. Has been an architect and developer in Spokane since 1977. Spent much of his career designing retail buildings.
Family: Married to Rosalie French. Has a daughter and a grandson.
Fundraising: Has raised nearly $140,000 as of Oct. 9, including more than $20,000 he's given himself via in-kind contributions. Prominent donors include a long list of contractors, home builders and political action committees representing the development industry. French also has donations from Amazon, Avista, Avista Corporation CEO Dennis Vermillion, Spokane Valley City Councilman Rod Higgins, Spokane Valley Mayor Pam Haley, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians and Gretchen McDevitt, a former board member of the Spokane County Republican Party and wife of former U.S. District Attorney for Eastern Washington Jim McDevitt.
Avista Corp. gives a lot of money to local candidates. If it leans in any political direction, it is toward incumbency – toward those already in power. But Avista’s recent decision to spend $200,000 to signal-boost the candidacies of French and Kuney with TV ads is a dramatic, puzzling departure from business as usual.
A race for Spokane County Commissioner turned contentious over the weekend when incumbent Al French reportedly called his challenger a “transgender, Bernie-loving, socialist, millennial.”
Among the candidates running for Spokane County commissioner are a relatively new commissioner and an experienced one. Mary Kuney in District 2 and Al French in District 3 deserve election on Nov. 6. Generally speaking, District 2 is the southeastern part of the county and District 3 is the western part. District 1, the northeastern part of the county, is not up this year. Josh Kerns currently represents District 1.
Avista Corp. is spending heavily in the Spokane County commissioner races by dropping nearly $200,000 on re-election television advertisements for commissioners Mary Kuney and Al French. In Avista Corp.’s largest independent campaign expenditure to date, the company in August contributed more than $99,500 per commissioner in “independent expenditures” for television ads and production costs, according to Washington State Public Disclosure Commission filings.
The union representing Spokane County’s deputy prosecutors has launched a public pressure campaign in hopes of rebooting contract negotiations and obtaining wage increases. Mediated negotiations stalled in August when the union, Local 1553-PA, voted to reject the county’s “last, best and final offer,” which would have immediately raised wages for senior attorneys by 2.5 percent and wages for the two lower attorney classifications by 4.25 percent.
Spokane County Commissioner Al French and challenger Robbi Katherine Anthony traded viewpoints on public safety, housing, growth and economic development during a Thursday afternoon election debate at the Spokane Club.
If you want experience, Al French is probably your pick for Spokane County Commission.
The Spokane County commissioners will host a series of community meetings to inform the public and gather input as they craft the county’s budget for 2019.
Democrats fared well in Spokane County races Tuesday, but can that momentum last in the general election?
Beyond the Amazon fulfillment center’s 1,500-plus jobs, local officials see the company’s presence here as an opportunity to raise Spokane’s profile as a place to do business.