A candidate for Spokane County Commissioner, District 2, Spokane County in the 2018 Washington General Election, Nov. 6
City: Spokane Valley, Washington
Education: Graduated from Central Valley High School in 1983. Attended Spokane Falls Community College and graduated from Gonzaga University in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in accounting.
Political experience: Appointed Spokane County commissioner in 2017. Won election to same seat in 2018 and 2020. Ran unsuccessfully for Spokane County treasurer in 2014. Former Republican precinct committee officer.
Work experience: Certified public accountant since 1993. Served as Spokane County chief deputy auditor for more than two years before becoming commissioner. Audited Spokane County during her 10 years with the Washington State Auditor's Office. Launched two small businesses. Owned Contineo Compliance PLLC, 2012-2013. Co-owner of Spokane-based Summit Tea Company, 2006-2008. Member of Hutton Settlement board of directors, a position she has held since 2009.
Family: Married to Max Kuney. Has two children.
Fundraising: Has raised nearly $60,000 as of Oct. 5. Multiple political action committees funded by developers, builders and contractors have donated to Kuney's campaign. She's also received donations from several individual developers and contractors, Avista, Cathy McMorris Rodgers For Congress, Spokane Republican state Rep. Mike Volz, Spokane Indians (baseball) President Chris Duff, former Spokane Valley Mayor Diana Wilhite, Spokane Valley City Councilman Ben Wick and former Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke.
The move means members of the public and media will be able to witness the collective bargaining process in real time, even though state law allows that process to take place in private meetings. “Salaries are our largest cost, and the citizens ought to know how we’re negotiating contracts and how we’re trying to represent the best interests of both the taxpayers and our employees,” Commissioner Al French said.
Spokane County commissioners unanimously approved a $790 million balanced budget for next year that largely avoids cuts to county departments while maintaining funding for public safety, infrastructure, parks and capital projects.
Spokane County Commissioners approved a 1 percent property tax increase to fund core county services, road construction and property acquisition for the Conservation Futures program.
Spokane County commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to file a lawsuit to block expansion of the board from three members to five.
Spokane County Commissioners Al French and Mary Kuney took the oath of office Tuesday evening surrounded by family members, friends and county employees.
Incumbent Republican Mary Kuney is likely to retain her seat on the Spokane County Board of Commissioners against challenger Rob Chase.
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.
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.