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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley Fire Commission, position 2

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Mike Kester 15,838 61.66%
Ronald Schmidt 9,847 38.34%

* 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

Mike Kester

Spokane Valley, WA

Education: Attended Mead High School until junior year, before attending Hellgate High School in Missoula Montana, where he graduated in 1975. Earned a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Montana in Forestry and Resource Management.

Political experience: First-time candidate

Work experience: Kester was spent four years in active duty in the Coast Guard on a firefighting boat and participated in search and rescue missions. He later worked for the Montana Fish and Game Department as an five years while attending college. After graduating from college, he left Montana for Spokane where he worked for Burlington Northern Railroad Santa Fe railroad as a train conductor for 22 years. He retired in 2010 after a work place injury.

Personal: Married. Has three children and five grandchildren.

Ronald Schmidt

Spokane Valley, WA

Education: Graduated from North Central High School in 1955. Received associate’s of arts degree from Spokane Falls Community College. Completed a five-year pipefitters apprenticeship and eventually attended Eastern Washington University where he obtained a teaching degree in industrial safety.

Political experience: Has served as a fire commissioner since 1990.

Work experience: Schmidt worked as a steam pipefitter for 21 years. After a workplace injury, he ran a program at the plumbers and pipefitters union, as well as other unions, to recruit women and minorities into trade careers. After about a year of working for unions, he was hired at Spokane Community College as the Dean of Trade Industry and Apprenticeships. He retired in the early 2000s.

Personal: Widowed. Was married to Sharran Lea Schmidt. Has six children and 10 grandchildren.

Complete Coverage

30-year incumbent faces challenge in race for Spokane Valley Fire Commission

A retired Spokane Valley railroad conductor is challenging a 30-year incumbent for his seat on the Spokane Valley Fire Board of Commissioners.