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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Valley City Council, Position 1

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Rod Higgins 10,354 50.18%
James “JJ” Johnson 10,281 49.82%

* 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

Rod Higgins

Spokane Valley, Washington

Political experience: Appointed to Spokane Valley City Council in 2013 and elected to the position in 2013 and 2017. He served as a city of Spokane Valley planning commissioner from January 2012 until his appointment to the council. Served as Spokane Valley mayor from 2016 to 2020.

Work experience: Spent much of his career in the mining industry. Was executive director of the Nevada Mining Association for four years. He is the retired director of International Society of Mine Safety Professionals.

Military experience: Served two years in the Army.

Education: Graduated from high school in Wallace. Earned bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho in finance in 1964.

Family: Married to Gloria Higgins for 50 years. Has two kids.

Campaign fundraising: Raised $17,900, as of Oct. 11, 2021, including more than $5,800 that he loaned to himself. Contributors include Spokane Valley businessman Jack Pring ($1,000), former Spokane County Republican Party chairwoman Cynthia Zapatocky ($1,000), Associated Builders and Contractors ($500), Republican state Sen. Mike Padden ($125), candidate for Spokane Valley City Council Position 7 Laura Padden ($125), Spokane County Assessor Tom Konis and Kathy Konis, ($50 each), and Spokane Valley City Councilman Arne Woodard ($500).

James "JJ" Johnson

Spokane Valley, Spokane

Education: Graduated from Central Valley High School in 1975. Went to Eastern Washington University and holds a mechanical engineering degree from Spokane Community College.

Work experience: Spent years working as a project manager in the steel business, constructing buildings. Now works for Spokane Public Schools buying textbooks and other items students need for their studies.

Political experience: Spent five years on the Spokane Valley Planning Commission and served as the commission’s chair.

Family: Has three kids. Engaged to Sheryl Stone.

Campaign fundraising: Raised $16,300 as of Oct. 11, 2021, including $1,900 that he loaned to himself. Contributors include Rick Wilhite, husband of former Spokane Valley Mayor and Spokane County Republican Party leader Diana Wilhite ($500), former Spokane County Democratic Party chairman Ed Wood ($50), the Spokane Regional Labor Council ($1,500), United Association of Plumbing and Steamfitters Labor Union #44 ($1,000), Jerry Dicker-owned GVD Hospitality Management Services ($1,000), the Washington Teamsters Legislative League ($500), former Spokane Valley City Councilman Bill Gothmann ($200), Elizabeth Grafos, wife of former Spokane Valley Mayor Dean Grafos ($500), and Spokane Valley City Councilman Tim Hattenburg ($50).

Complete Coverage

Pam Haley chosen as new Spokane Valley mayor: ‘There’s a lot of work to do’

Haley has served on City Council since 2016. 

The 2021 election ends with lessons to those who think the 2020 election isn’t

Although the 2021 general election was almost a month ago, the last Spokane-area contest wasn’t settled until last week, with the recount that confirmed Rod Higgins was re-elected to a Spokane Valley council seat.

Higgins officially wins reelection after recount in Spokane Valley City Council race

The recount didn’t change a single vote. 

Recount coming: Spokane Valley councilman Higgins leads Johnson by 68 votes

Higgins trailed on election night by 1.5 percentage points, but he pulled ahead as more ballots came in. 

Back to the right: Thompson loss, Higgins comeback will give Spokane Valley City Council a conservative majority

How the new conservative majority might govern differently is an open question. 

Incumbents Higgins and Thompson trailing in Spokane Valley council election

The balance of power on City Council probably won’t shift based on Tuesday’s partial election results. 

Northwest Passages: Spokane Valley City Council debate

Spokane Valley City Council member Rod Higgins debates challenger J.J. Johnson on the Northwest Passages livestream. The opening statements of the debate were cut off by technical difficulties in the studio.

Conservative Spokane Valley Councilman Rod Higgins faces moderate JJ Johnson in bid for third term

Longtime Spokane Valley City Councilman Rod Higgins is facing off against JJ Johnson as he fights to retain his seat. 

Spokane Valley councilmember decries state COVID-19 mandates; claims rules are ‘destroying our city’

State-issued mandates aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 amid the ongoing pandemic are “destroying” Spokane Valley, a member of its City Council alleged Tuesday.