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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Valley City Council Position 3

Election Results

Candidate Votes Pct
Al (Albert) Merkel 14,181 65.92%
Arne Woodard 7,333 34.08%

* 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

Al (Albert) Merkel

Spokane Valley, WA

Education: Graduated from University High School in 2004. Graduated from Whitworth University in 2009 with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics, political science and economics.

Political experience: Ran for Spokane Valley City Council in 2017 and 2019. Serves as a precinct committee officer for the Spokane County Republican Party. 

Work experience: Co-owns Dee's Dog Grooming with his wife. Works as an emergency substitute teacher for the Central Valley School District. Was chief executive officer of Sequoia Detox Centers. Has worked for several companies and agencies as a contract specialist, including the Centene Corporation, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Chemonics International, Premier Management Corporation and Louis Burger. 

Family: Married to Stephanie Merkel. Has one child. 

Fundraising: Has raised a cumulative $4,379 as of Sept. 26. All but $100 of his funding comes from himself and his wife. 

Arne Woodard

Spokane Valley, WA

Education: Graduated from Gonzaga Prep in 1971 and attended Spokane Community College for about a year and a half. 

Political experience: Has served on the City Council since 2011 and is the longest serving councilman in Spokane Valley history. 

Work experience: Owned real estate business from 1994 to 2018. Previously worked in construction and rebuilding homes damaged by floods or storms. Has worked on road and underground utility projects. Has owned a bakery named Backburner Breads, sold bread-making equipment and owned a health food store called Magic Mill. 

Family: Married to Charmagne Woodard. Has seven children and 15 or so grandchildren. 

Fundraising: Has raised more than $10,600 as of Sept. 26, and also began his campaign with an additional $5,225 in funds. Woodard has received several donations from individuals and companies in the real estate and construction industries. Other notable donors include Spokane Valley City Councilman Rod Higgins, former Spokane County GOP Chairwoman Cynthia Zapotocky, Spokane Valley City Councilwoman Laura Padden and state Sen. Mike Padden.

Complete Coverage

Woodard thumped by Merkel in Spokane Valley City Council race; Hattenburg holds large lead over Chase

Arne Woodard, the longest serving city councilman in Spokane Valley’s brief history, lost to Al Merkel by 30 percentage points. 

City Council candidates debate Spokane Valley issues at S-R event

City Council candidates Thursday night debated major Spokane Valley issues at the Mirabeau Park Hotel and Convention Center.

Spokane Valley’s longest-serving council member faces a familiar opponent

Arne Woodard, 70, hopes to beat out 37-year-old Al Merkel and secure a fourth and final term in office. 

Upcoming Spokane Valley elections feature intriguing match-ups

Three Spokane Valley City Council seats are up for grabs this year, and all three races offer plenty of intrigue.

Spokane Valley homeowners will pay an extra $37 next year in stormwater fees

The annual rate will rise from $21 to $58.