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Sunday, July 12, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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West Plains races set for November

Two mayoral posts, one council seat contested

The results of the primary election were declared official on Sept. 2. In the West Plains, three races for mayor and City Council are headed to the general election.

Cheney

Mayor

Mayor Allan Gainer faced challenges from council members Tom Trulove and Curt Huff. Trulove received 623 votes, Gainer 410 and Huff 367. Trulove and Gainer advance to the general election.

•Gainer said he will be spending the upcoming weeks visiting as many people as he can and emphasizing the changes he has made in the last four years, such as making it possible for city customers to pay their bills online, making City Hall more accessible to customers, getting the business park organized, and working on a project to install radio-read water meters to streamline information collection.

He will also be promoting the city’s Proposition 1, in which voters will decide on a bond to build the new Betz Park on the north side of town.

“I’m a big supporter,” Gainer said of the bond.

•Trulove is looking forward to speaking to groups and making his positions known to voters. He is distributing fliers, putting up signs and looking forward to candidate forums.

“I want to spend some time letting the community get to know me better,” Trulove said.

He wants to better manage the city budget, control city expenses, develop private-sector jobs, and better network with other governments and organizations.

Trulove has been the mayor of Cheney before – he was first elected to the position in 1978. He resigned in 1986 when he was appointed to the Northwest Power Planning Council by Gov. Booth Gardner. He has been serving on the City Council since 2005.

City Council position 3

There were three candidates on the primary ballot for City Council position 3: incumbent Mike McKeehan, Jason MH Alvarado and Kathleen A. Warren. McKeehan received 772 votes, Warren 283 and Alvarado 259. McKeehan and Warren advance to the general election.

•This is McKeehan’s fourth City Council election and he said he is happy with the direction Cheney is taking. The city’s street and sidewalk repair program is working well, as is the Parks and Recreation Department.

McKeehan hopes to get better signage along Interstate 90 to attract visitors and designate certain pedestrian routes in Cheney that will have snow-shoveling requirements to make it easier for children to walk to school in the winter.

•Warren said she will be stepping up her campaign now that she is on the ballot in November.

She said she has run a pretty silent campaign during the primary and is excited to move to the general election.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” she said.

Warren will be gathering volunteers and distributing signs. She said she will not align herself with other politicians in Cheney, since she wants to maintain her independence as a candidate.

“If elected, I will put the money back into the city,” Warren said. She wants to put her $310-per-month stipend into an after-school and summer meal program for children in the city.

Medical Lake

Mayor

Four candidates were on the ballot for mayor in Medical Lake: incumbent mayor John Higgins, former council member Laura Parsons, former police Chief Tony Harbolt and Airway Heights police officer Mikeal Suniga. Higgins received 544 votes and Parsons came in second with 134 – beating out Suniga by five votes. Tony Harbolt received 95 votes. Higgins and Parsons move forward to the general election.

•“I feel pretty good about it,” Higgins said of his lead. “It shows the city was pretty responsive to what I’ve done in the past.” Higgins said that during his term in office, the city has put two new solar-powered aerators into Medical Lake, has continued patching streets and has put a new gazebo into Pioneer Park. He is also proud the city is maintaining a balanced budget despite tough economic times throughout the nation.

“We’re staying busy,” he said.

• Parsons said she is happy with the outcome of the primary and wants to tap into voters who didn’t vote during the primary election.

She said that there are 2,300 voters in Medical Lake and only around 800 voted.

“There’s still hope,” she said.

She plans to continue meeting with residents to let them know who she is and her qualifications for the position.

She is a home health care worker who served on the council from 1998 through 2005. She has served on the Solid Waste Liaison Board, the Spokane Transit Council and is a certified union civil leader with the Association of Washington Cities.

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