Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Snow 28° Snow

Spokane City Council, northeast district

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Michael Cathcart (N) 6,444 53.54%
Tim Benn (N) 5,592 46.46%

* 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

Michael Cathcart

Party:
No party
Age:
35
City:
Spokane, WA
Occupation:
Executive director of pro-business group Better Spokane

His words: "We need a broad base of ideas among our elected officials. I think the City Council could become an echo chamber, entirely. I don't think anyone would agree you make good policy in an echo chamber." 

His pitch: Cathcart has experience in Spokane City Hall in his role as executive director of Better Spokane and in advocating for development and planning policies on behalf of the Spokane Homebuilders. Spokane city government has become too cloistered and has not taken steps to address the mounting problems of homelessness and crime, Cathcart said. City officials should turn their attention more to what he terms the "forgotten district" in Spokane's northeast third, and would help solve the area's issues of crime and deteriorating infrastructure by boosting business recruitment efforts and changing the way some city funds are spent.

Work experience: Former government affairs director for the Spokane Homebuilders Association. Worked as legislative aide for state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, 2011-2012. 

Education: Received a bachelor's degree in media and theater arts from Montana State University in 2006. Graduated from University High School in 2003. 

Political experience: First run for public office. Served as chair and vice-chair of Emerson-Garfield neighborhood council. Ran campaigns against divisive Community Bill of Rights (Envision Spokane) in 2009 and the state Senate campaign for Baumgartner in 2010.

Family: Single

Neighborhood: Shiloh Hills

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

Related Media

Complete Coverage

New Councilman Cathcart wants community policing in his district

Mayor Nadine Woodward is moving quickly to identify and open a new downtown police precinct focused on community-oriented law enforcement, with more officers patrolling on foot and bike. New City Councilman Michael Cathcart likes that plan so much he wants to mirror it in northeast Spokane, the district he represents.

Shawn Vestal: Tim Benn’s candidacy ran counter to deluge of special-interest spending

If you are of the view that our politics is too controlled by big money, and that democracy is disfigured by the influence of the money-is-speech brigade, you weren’t disabused of that notion this year. Benn’s candidacy ran counter to all of that.

Realtors boost already big spending on four Spokane candidates, including Nadine Woodward

With a week to go before city elections, the money race in Spokane is gathering speed.

Getting There: Northeast City Council candidates discuss North Spokane Corridor, street planning, public transit

Northeast Spokane has seen several major transportation construction projects in the past few years, including changes to Crestline and Sprague. An even larger one looms with completion of the North Spokane Corridor. City Council candidates Tim Benn and Michael Cathcart offer their views on those projects, as well as whether car tab fees should be reduced.

City Council debate: Benn vs. Cathcart

At the Oct. 3 Pints and Politics debate, Tim Benn and Michael Cathcart debated city issues related to their race for the District 1 seat on the Spokane City Council.

Spokane’s Proposition 1 would make bargaining between the city and unions public

The proposal is intended to bring more transparency to talks between City Hall and public employees, including clerical and maintenance workers, firefighters and police. The initiative is sponsored by Better Spokane, a pro-business nonprofit that is headed by City Council candidate Michael Cathcart.

Spokane Proposition 2 would outlaw a local income tax, as courts weigh legality of Seattle measure

Sponsor Michael Cathcart said the measure is intended to make sure the city remains competitive in business recruitment.

Shawn Vestal: Realtors and other rich interests are pouring money into funds to back Nadine Woodward and other Spokane candidates

As special-interest money pours into local elections, do donors with $50 to contribute deserve 100 or even 1,000 times less free speech than the deep pockets? What about people without even that?

Northeast Spokane guaranteed a conservative councilman, so Benn, Cathcart highlight experience

Preview of the city council race between Michael Cathcart and Tim Benn in the northeast.

Election preview: Crowded 7-member field of candidates seeks to replace Mike Fagan on Spokane City Council

The open seat to represent northeast Spokane on the City Council has drawn multiple challengers, including seasoned political players and first-time candidates. They all agree, however, that their district has been overlooked at City Hall for dollars to support infrastructure and industry.

Collective bargaining transparency, income tax ban sought by pro-business group at Spokane City Council

The Spokane City Council on Monday will hear two initiatives submitted by Better Spokane, a fiscally conservative group that supports business-friendly political candidates. One would prevent the city from enacting a local income tax, and the second seeks to make collective bargaining open to the public.