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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane City Council, northwest district

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Karen J. Stratton (N) 11,915 50.92%
Andy Rathbun (N) 11,484 49.08%

* 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

Karen J. Stratton

No party
Spokane, WA
Incumbent councilwoman

Her words: "My father used to say, if you really want to know what people think and what people want, you need to go to them. And I believe that. To me, the vibrancy and the pulse of the city is in the neighborhoods." 

Her pitch: Stratton says more work needs to be done to improve the quality of life in the northwest neighborhoods, particularly West Central. The former Spokane city clerk says she'll continue to advocate on behalf of municipal employees, efforts that have often put her at odds with Mayor David Condon's office. She defended the city's approach to providing services for the homeless in her four years on the Spokane City Council, but said she'd advocate for more partnerships in the community between city social workers, educators, mental health care providers and others to provide more and longer-term services for those living on the streets. 

Education: Graduated from Marycliff High School in 1977. Earned bachelor’s degree in communications and general studies from Eastern Washington University in 1989.

Work experience: Worked at Washington State University Spokane and the Community Colleges of Spokane. Served as a clerk in the city clerk's office.

Political experience: Incumbent councilwoman. Appointed to complete term of Steve Salvatori. Former aide to Mayors Jim West and Mary Verner in 2014. Former legislative aide in the Washington state House.

Family: Married. One adult son. Her mother, Lois Stratton, was a legislator in Olympia as a Democrat from 1979 to 1993, and her father, Alan Stratton, was a member of the Spokane City Council from 1965 to 1975. 

Neighborhood: Audubon-Downriver

Andy Rathbun

No party
Spokane, WA
Retired Air Force. Operates several rental properties in West Central and Emerson-Garfield neighborhoods.

His words: "There’s been a lot of wasted time on some issues, that the City Council can’t or shouldn’t’ be affecting … I’m looking to help affect positive change for Spokane."

His pitch: A longtime resident and volunteer in the West Central neighborhood, Rathbun says he hopes to re-align the Spokane City Council's priorities to match the mindset of its residents. Property crime is a big issue for residents, he said, and he hopes to dedicate some of the tax base brought in by growth to adding more police officers to the department, noting the city is below the national average for staffing based on population. Rathbun says he has experience working in an advocacy role for his neighborhood with police and elected officials at City Hall and hopes to translate that experience to serving as its councilmember, after switching his candidacy from the mayor's race earlier this year.  

Education: Earned a bachelor's degree in physical sciences from Kansas State University in 1987. Completed some coursework at Washington State University. Graduated from Richland High School in Richland, Washington, in 1982. 

Political experience: Made list of finalists for appointment to District 3 council seat in 2006, after shuffle at City Hall caused by Mayor Jim West's resignation. Longtime member of the West Central Community Center board of directors, as well as a member of the West Central neighborhood council.

Work experience: Retired from the U.S. Air Force in October after a nearly 32-year military career. Left the service with the rank of lieutenant colonel. 

Family: Married. Three daughters. Three grandchildren.

Neighborhood: West Central

Related Media

Complete Coverage

Final fight: Condon, City Council spar over city salaries

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Ties to marijuana businesses are disqualifying bankruptcy filers, including City Councilwoman Karen Stratton

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Five West Central ‘zombie homes’ placed in receivership as part of affordable housing push

More than three years ago, activists hatched a plan to save five Victorian houses from demolition and turn them into much-needed affordable apartments in Spokane’s West Central neighborhood. But the project stalled for reasons that remain in dispute, and the houses fell into disrepair after they were moved to new locations.

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