Northwest Spokane voters are likely to be choosing between Steve Corker and Nancy McLaughlin for their next City Council member. Updated vote tallies from the Spokane County Elections Office show Corker maintaining a narrow, but steady, lead over Judith Gilmore for second place in Tuesday’s primary. The number of votes being counted, meanwhile, has slowed to a trickle.
“That’s exciting. I am thrilled,” the former city councilman said when told of the latest vote results. “I guess I’d better get my yard signs back up.”
Gilmore, a neighborhood activist who works as a consultant on community issues, had a 12-vote lead on Tuesday night, after the bulk of absentee ballots and all the votes cast at polling stations were counted.
But Corker had a slight edge earlier in the evening, when the first round of absentee ballots were counted, and moved back in front on Wednesday when more absentees were added to the mix. His lead over Gilmore has gained a few votes with each daily count of mail-in ballots.
McLaughlin, the co-owner of a construction business, led the seven-candidate field throughout the count and is assured of the other spot on the Nov. 8 general election ballot.
A race between McLaughlin and Corker would match a political newcomer emphasizing a fresh face and new ideas against a council veteran who will say the city needs someone familiar with the council’s issues and procedures.
Results won’t be certified until next week, but elections officials said Friday they believe the bulk of the mail ballots have been received and counted. They could have as many as 139 provisional ballots – those that were cast at the polls by voters who weren’t on the rolls at that polling station – but that’s the total for the entire county, Elections Manager Paul Brandt said.
Only a portion of the provisional ballots are likely to be from northwest Spokane’s District 3, but elections officials don’t have a breakdown for each district.
In other close races, Mary Gray and Lucy Harmon are tied, with 94 votes each, for the second spot in the Deer Park Council Position 3 race. Ella Harper is in first place with 225 votes.
David Wooten maintained a 13-vote lead over Max Minchew for the second spot in the Airway Heights Council Position 6 primary. Ed Peck held a 12-vote lead over Dick Neff for the second spot in an East Spokane Water District commissioner’s primary.
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