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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane County Commission, District 1

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Josh Kerns (R) 36,872 64.35%
Ted Cummings (D) 20,428 35.65%

* 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.

The Candidates

Josh Kerns

Mead, Washington

Education: Graduated from Mount Spokane High School in 2003. Earned associate degree from Spokane Community College in 2004 and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Whitworth University in 2006 and 2008.

Political experience: Elected Spokane County commissioner in 2016. Served six years as a legislative aide for state Rep. Jeff Holy and former state Rep. John Ahern. Previously served as a delegate to precinct caucuses and county and state Republican conventions. Has worked on Republican campaigns since 2008.

Work experience: Owns a small marketing company, River Marketing, with his wife. Previously worked as a server at Red Robin and a banker for U.S. Bank.

Family: Married to Nichole Kerns. Has two children.

Campaign finance: Has raised nearly $41,000 as of Sept. 9, 2022. Notable donors include Avista, numerous builders and political action groups that represent developers, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ congressional campaign fund, Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell, Spokane Valley City Council members Rod Higgins and Arne Woodard, the Washington Association of Realtors, 4th Legislative District Sen. Mike Padden, 4th Legislative District representatives Rob Chase and Bob McCaslin and Spokane County Republican Party Chairman Brian Steele.

Ted Cummings

Chattaroy, Washington

Education: Graduated from Gonzaga Preparatory School in 1979. Earned an associate degree from Spokane Community College in 1997.

Work experience: Worked at Kaiser Aluminum's Mead smelter from 1988 until a strike and lockout in 1998. Worked as a supervisor for Alcoa Aluminum in New York from 1998 to 2004. Returned to Kaiser in 2004 at the company's Trentwood plant. Has served as a vice president for the Washington State Labor Council since 2018.

Political experience: Ran for U.S. Senate in 2016. Ran for state representative in the 4th Legislative District against Matt Shea in 2018. Ran for Spokane County commissioner against Josh Kerns in 2020. 

Family: Married to Denise Cummings. Has two adult sons and one granddaughter.

Campaign contributions: Has not reported any contributions as of June 17, according to the Public Disclosure Commission.

Complete Coverage

Spokane County reduces its 2021 budget deficit by around $3 million by not hiring as many new sheriff’s deputies, other employees

Spokane County plans to not fill vacant Spokane County Sheriff’s Office deputy and deputy training positions next year in hopes of reducing an $11.6 million budget deficit. 

Spokane County uses COVID-19 aid to launch $10.8 million hospitality grant program

Spokane County Commissioners approved $10.8 million in federal COVID-19 aid for a new grant program that will offer assistance to struggling hospitality businesses. The application for the grant opens next week and only restaurants, hotels, event venues and other businesses related to hospitality and leisure activities are eligible. 

Spokane County faces $11 million shortfall in 2021 budget

Spokane County’s preliminary budget was released Tuesday and the county is facing an estimated $11 million shortfall, which they hope to address with early retirements, cutting costs and potentially dipping into reserves.

Spokane County commissioners have less than 90 days to spend $40 million in federal COVID-19 aid

Spokane County Commissioners have 90 days to spend around $40 million in Federal COVID-19 aid, a little less than half of the total amount the were allocated to spend in the community at the beginning of the pandemic. 

New facility aims for ‘life restarts,’ reduced recidivism in people with mental health, substance disorders

Spokane County broke ground on a new facility that will open up space for those with substance abuse or mental health issues stabilize and detox, lowering the number of people going through withdrawals or mental health issues in the county jail.

Spokane County Commissioner candidates Josh Kerns, Ted Cummings debate extremism, union negotiations

Spokane County Commissioner Candidates Josh Kerns, Ted Cummings clashed over union negotiations and whether Kerns should have called on Rep. Matt Shea to resign.

Spokane County Commissioners abolish gambling taxes for unincorporated businesses

Spokane County Commissioners unanimously voted to eliminate a 2% gambling tax on unincorporated county businesses that offer gambling, hoping it will offer them some relief during the pandemic.

Spokane County awards $4.4 million in federal COVID-19 aid funding for food

Spokane County Commissioners approved $4.4 million in CARES Act funding for the Second Harvest Food Bank to address a massive increase in demand for food caused by the financial impacts of the pandemic.

County Commissioner candidates Josh Kerns, Ted Cummings agree community needs help getting through COVID-19, differ on criminal justice

Spokane County Commissioner candidates Josh Kerns and Ted Cummings disagree on criminal justice issues and how the county should interact with unions, but have similar positions on at least one front: Both say the county should be willing to use county funds to assist people in need after federal money runs out.

Spokane County health officer rejects commissioners’ push to next reopening phase

Spokane County Health Officer Bob Lutz declined a request from the Spokane County Commissioners to start the process of moving Spokane County into Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan.

Spokane County considers using federal coronavirus relief money to increase jail capacity with temporary structures

As Spokane County Jail staff prepares for a potential COVID-19 outbreak in the jail, county staff has asked commissioners to consider spending federal COVID-19 aid money on buying temporary jail structures to house more inmates.

So far, challengers aren’t lining up to run against incumbents in Spokane County

The deadline to file for office is a little over a week away, and many races in Spokane County, including both county commissioners seats, appear to be uncontested.

Spokane region to receive $90 million from CARES Act

The Spokane region will soon receive about $90 million from the federal government to help business, organizations and agencies recover from COVID-19 expenses.

Spokane County Commission backs legal effort forcing public employee unions to negotiate publicly

Spokane County has filed a brief in support of Lincoln County’s case that will determine whether counties can force unions that represent their employees to negotiate wages and benefits in public.

Spokane County CEO Gerry Gemmill to retire this summer

Spokane County CEO Gerry Gemmill is retiring after nearly 40 years working for the county, including the past four as the top administrator.

Spokane County to spend $50,000 researching temporary jail structures

Spokane County Commissioners have approved spending $50,000 to study whether putting a few hundred inmates in temporary structures, or reinforced tents, is feasible.

City, county now require open union negotiations, but they haven’t happened – and may never

Though Spokane County and the city of Spokane have both required their unions to negotiate with them in public, some union leaders aren’t ready to back down as they wait for the outcome of a court case.

McMorris Rodgers says GOP leaders were right to oust Shea from caucus; other officials split on whether he should resign

“I have repeatedly condemned extremism, no matter its source, and have made clear the violence it inspires has no place here in Eastern Washington,” the congresswoman said in a statement.

Spokane County gets conflicting reports about nonprofit public defense

Spokane County officials continue to explore the idea of contracting with a nonprofit agency to provide public defense attorneys even though more counties are choosing to make that a function of county government.