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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane County Commissioner, District 5

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Maggie Yates (D) 13,544 44.57%
Al French (R) 12,515 41.18%
Don A. Harmon (R) 3,470 11.42%
Tara Carter (I) 859 2.83%

* 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

Maggie Yates

Party:
Democratic
Age:
34
City:
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 $60,000 as of June 27. Notable donors include Washington State Department of Commerce Director Lisa Brown, Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs, Spokane City Councilwoman Lori Kinnear, 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, the Washington Teamsters Legislative League, former Spokane County Commissioner Bonnie Mager, state Rep. Marcus Riccelli and state Rep. Timm Ormsby,

Al French

Party:
Republican
Age:
71
City:
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 $81,000 as of June 27, more than any other candidate running for Spokane County office during this election cycle. French has given himself more than $20,000 in in-kind contributions. Prominent donors include a long list of developers, contractors and political action committees representing the building industry. French also has donations from 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, wife of former U.S. District Attorney for Eastern Washington Jim McDevitt.

Don A. Harmon

Party:
Republican
Age:
76
City:
Spokane, Washington

Education: Graduated from West Anchorage High School in Alaska.

Political experience: Served on the Airway Heights City Council from 1990 to 1993. Was Airway Heights’ mayor from 1994 to 1998.

Work experience: Served in the Navy from 1965 to 1969 helping train pilots in Kingsville, Texas. Worked on the railroad in Alaska. Worked on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline driving fuel trucks and buses. Drove a bus for People Mover, Anchorage’s public transit authority, where he served as a union representative. Retired in the 1980s after an 18-wheeler truck hit his bus, injuring his back.

Family: Single. Has five kids, one deceased.

FundraisingHas raised $0 as of June 27.

Tara Carter

Party:
Independent
Age:
48
City:
Spokane, Washington

Education: Graduated from Newport High School. Has a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from Whitworth University and a master’s in administration and health care management from the University of Phoenix.

Political experience: First run for office.

Work experience: Currently a Spokane County District Court clerk. Worked at Costco. Has been a teacher and a pharmacy tech at Standard Drug on Division Street.

Family: Married to Stephen Carter. Has three kids.

FundraisingHas raised $0 as of June 27.

Complete Coverage

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. 

Don Harmon, Airway Heights’ mayor in the late 1990s, enters county commission race against Al French

Harmon, 76, is keeping his campaign platform simple — he’s focused on police and roads. 

Spokane County filing week kicks of with three surprise candidates, but few bombshells

Airway Heights’ mayor from the late ‘90s, Karen Stratton’s former legislative assistant and a formerly incarcerated person of color were the only unexpected names to file to run for election in the August primary. 

Getting There: Spokane County works out deal to acquire closed BNSF bridge near Airway Heights

A rotting wooden bridge over the railroad tracks on the West Plains has infuriated residents for three years. At long last, the county announced it’s worked out an arrangement with the railroad to fix the problem. 

Supported release, a Spokane County criminal justice reform proposal, turns a corner

After months of disagreement, county criminal justice leaders are now unanimously in favor of a supported release pilot program. 

Former Spokane County criminal justice reform leader Maggie Yates to run against Commissioner Al French

Maggie Yates, a Democrat, spent the last four years leading the county’s criminal justice reform efforts before resigning in January. 

For nearly 20 years, chronic flooding has made life miserable for some West Plains homeowners. Spokane County hopes a $5.5 million project will be the solution

The sun is out, the sky is blue and Raspberry Avenue on the West Plains is full of puddles.

Political newcomer emerges as first 2022 challenger for Spokane County Commissioner Al French

District Court Clerk Tara Carter said she’d focus on helping the homeless if elected to the newly created 5th commissioner district, which covers the West Plains and parts of Spokane. 

No medical doctors among Spokane County Health Board’s nominations for new members

A naturopathic doctor, former regional administrator of HUD and homeless outreach coordinator are slated to join the Board of Health. 

Maggie Yates, the woman leading the region’s criminal justice reform efforts, resigns

Yates had been focusing on reducing Spokane County’s jail population and reducing racial disparities within the criminal justice system. 

Sports County USA: Spokane County commissioners’ resolution designates new nickname

“I think the only thing you can’t do is ocean surf here,” Spokane County Commissioner Al French said. “I’ve actually snow skied in the morning and water skied in the afternoon.”

Spokane County’s $677 million budget includes major investments in Sheriff’s Office

The Sheriff’s Office’s $50 million budget includes the salaries of 19 new patrol deputies and the purchase of body cameras. 

Spokane County used to publish 150-page budgets. Now they’re three or four pages long

The county says it intends to publish detailed budget documents once again in the near future.