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Friday, September 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Lance Gurel

A candidate for Spokane Valley City Council, position 3, City of Spokane Valley in the 2019 Washington Primary Election, Aug. 6


City: Spokane Valley, Washington

Education: Graduated from Walter Johnson Senior High School in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1966. Attended the University of Maryland for two years but did not finish a degree. Graduated with bachelor’s degree in accounting from Arkansas Tech University in 1996. Graduated with an MBA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1998.

Work experience: Has owned an accounting business since 2006. Previously worked as a financial analyst for Florida State University. Worked as financial officer and director of development for Arkansas Tech University from 1995 to 2001. Previously worked as a welder, orchard manager, home rebuilder.

Political experience: Ran unsuccessfully for Spokane Valley City Council in 2019.

Family: Married. Has five children, 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Pitch: "I'm running because I think government should be effective, efficient and work for the people, but I reject the idea of tearing government down as small as possible. There are people, both our previous legislators, present legislators and the candidates I'm running against, who just think that government should be made so small that in effect it's too small to take care of the services that we need."


Contact information

Race Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Arne Woodard 6,843 43.81%
Lance Gurel 3,993 25.56%
Al (Albert) Merkel 3,460 22.15%
Adam (Smash) Smith 1,325 8.48%

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Spokane Valley candidates hope for regional approach to homelessness, clash over direction of council

If voters choose challenger Lance Gurel, he hopes to shift the makeup of council to more moderate and more open to new ideas. Incumbent Arne Woodard said Gurel and other more moderate candidates’ proposals go outside of the few essential duties Spokane Valley was founded to accomplish.

Incumbents advance in Spokane Valley City Council races; Woodard’s opponent uncertain

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Family of white supremacist murder victims, including Spokane Valley City Council candidate, call for racial equity talk in the city

Lance Gurel, who is one of the candidates running against Spokane Valley City Councilman Arne Woodard, said this weekend the impending execution of Danny Lewis Lee shows why the city must face its racial equity challenges. Woodard defended the city’s approach to the question while condemning Lee’s actions.

Control of Spokane Valley City Council a top issue for two of Councilman Arne Woodard’s primary challengers

Two candidates hoping to unseat conservative Spokane Valley City Councilman Arne Woodard say their goal is to shift the balance of power on the council. Former government contract negotiator Al Merkel and accountant Lance Gurel said they more often agree with more moderate members of the council, Brandi Peetz, Ben Wick and Linda Thompson.