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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane County Commissioner

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Al French (R) 23,786 51.64%
Maggie Yates (D) 22,279 48.36%

* 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

Al French

Spokane, Washington

Education: Graduated from Western High School in Las Vegas. Majored in architecture and minored in business finance at the University of Idaho.

Political experience: Has served three terms as a Spokane County commissioner. Served two terms on the Spokane City Council from 2002 to 2009. Served as the Nevada-Lidgerwood Neighborhood Council president from 1995 to 2001.

Work experience: Served in the Marine Corps from 1969 to 1972. Worked as an officer candidate school instructor in Quantico, Virginia. Has been an architect and developer in Spokane since 1977. Spent much of his career designing retail buildings.

Family: Married to Rosalie French. Has a daughter and a grandson.

FundraisingHas raised nearly $140,000 as of Oct. 9, including more than $20,000 he's given himself via in-kind contributions. Prominent donors include a long list of contractors, home builders and political action committees representing the development industry. French also has donations from Amazon, Avista, Avista Corporation CEO Dennis Vermillion, Spokane Valley City Councilman Rod Higgins, Spokane Valley Mayor Pam Haley, the Kalispel Tribe of Indians and Gretchen McDevitt, a former board member of the Spokane County Republican Party and wife of former U.S. District Attorney for Eastern Washington Jim McDevitt.

Maggie Yates

Spokane, Washington

Education: Graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 2006. Majored in cultural anthropology and international studies at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Has a law degree from UCLA.

Political experience: First run for office.

Work experience: Spent more than three years as Spokane County’s regional law and justice administrator, focusing on criminal justice reform. Worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center and the MacArthur Justice Center before working for Spokane County. Also worked for the Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia. 

Family: Married to Satish Shrestha.

FundraisingHas raised nearly $177,000 as of Oct. 9, one of the highest totals in county history and more than any other candidate for county office this election cycle. Notable donors include multiple labor unions, Washington State Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown, Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs, Spokane City Council members Lori Kinnear, Betsy Wilkerson and Zack Zappone, former Spokane County Public Defender Tom Krzyminski, the Spokane Tribe of Indians, Spokane City Prosecutor Justin Bingham, former Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, local Planned Parenthood spokesman Paul Dillon, former Spokane County Commissioner Bonnie Mager, state Rep. Marcus Riccelli and state Rep. Timm Ormsby.

Complete Coverage

Spokane County commissioners vote against raising property taxes

The move will save the average county homeowner about $7 in 2023. 

Superior Court wants another judge, but the Spokane County commissioners don’t want to pay for it

The Washington Legislature in 1997 authorized the county to hire a 13th judge, but the county commissioners still haven’t added the position.

Republicans win majority on Spokane County Commission; McCaslin gains on Dalton in auditor’s race

Maggie Yates has conceded to Al French, Bob McCaslin is chipping away at Vicky Dalton’s lead and Leonard Christian’s odds of upsetting Rob Chase look increasingly good. 

Two Democrats heading to the Spokane County Commission, but Republican majority likely to hold

Democrats won representation on the Spokane County Commission for the first time in a dozen years, but Republicans are in position to continue to control the body that writes county laws and determines spending.

Big money buying lots of negative advertising in race between French and Yates for Spokane County Commission

Political action committees haven’t been pulling punches on their mailers. 

New dwellings in Washington state must be warmed by heat pumps, rather than furnaces, beginning in July, state board rules Friday

A 9-5 vote of the panel followed months of contentious public testimony about the change, part of a carbon reduction effort mandated in state law and pushed by Gov. Jay Inslee to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency. The council voted in April to require new commercial construction to switch to heat pumps, devices that primarily use electricity to heat a home in a method that is the reverse of an air conditioner in the summer. Now, home builders will be required to follow the same rules with new construction.

City of Spokane and Knezovich requesting emergency proclamation for Camp Hope

Spokane County commissioners plan to sign an emergency proclamation on Tuesday related to Camp Hope, the 450-person homeless encampment along Interstate 90 in east Spokane. 

Pints and Politics: Spokane County Commission debate

At the recent Pints and Politics event Oct. 6, 2022 at the Bing Crosby Theater, Spokane County Commissioner candidates, Al French and Maggie Yates debated the issues facing the District 5 seat on the newly expanded county commission. Jonathan Brunt, the Spokesman-Review’s Government Editor acts as moderator.

Democrat Yates looks to unseat Republican French in race that could shift balance of power on the Spokane County Commission

Whichever political party wins District 5 will likely win a majority on the county commission, the most powerful branch of Spokane County government. 

French and Yates disagree on need for new county jail during Thursday debate

Spokane County Commissioner Al French, a Republican who is running to maintain a seat on the commission in the newly drawn 5th Commissioner District, faced his opponent, Democrat Maggie Yates, in a Thursday night debate.

Spokane County to sue WSDOT over Camp Hope

It’s unclear if Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward supports the lawsuit. 

Effort to improve voter turnout among inmates moving forward, despite opposition from Spokane County commissioners

Commissioners Josh Kerns and Al French rejected auditor Vicky Dalton’s request to get grant funding to improve voter turnout in Spokane County detention facilities. 

Incumbent French dealt a blow after fellow Republican endorses his Democratic opponent

Republican Don Harmon, who was eliminated from the rac, has endorsed Democrat Maggie Yates in the race for Spokane County Commission District 5. 

French trailing, but other Spokane County Commission incumbents cruise to general election

For the first time in history, voters this year are electing five Spokane County commissioners instead of three.

Haven’t yet voted in the primary election? Here’s what’s at stake in Spokane County

For those who liking waiting to the last minute to cast their ballots, here’s a look at the candidate field. 

Even before $27 million Spokane County Jail lawsuit, NaphCare had a rocky legal history

The company that provides health care services to the Spokane County Jail is no stranger to lawsuits. 

Could a $150 million stormwater project fuel more development on the West Plains?

S3R3 Solutions, the public development authority on the West Plains, hopes a massive stormwater infrastructure project could be an economic development boon for the region. 

Three challengers hope to bring down Al French in race for Spokane County Commission District 5

French, who’s been an elected official for two decades, will try to fend off Maggie Yates, Tara Carter and former Airway Heights Mayor Don Harmon. 

Republicans call for thorough review of 2020 Spokane County election, but county officials unlikely to be able to fulfill request

The Spokane County Republican Party wants a complete review of the county’s election system by a third party, but the county commissioners say they can’t legally authorize it. 

Spokane County won’t put property tax on August ballot for Avista Stadium upgrades

The question may still be left to voters, but it won’t be answered during the summer primary election.