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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Mumm to advance in commission race; McLaughlin trailing Kerns

Spokane County Commission candidate Candace Mumm makes an early appearance at the Democrats’ election night party held at the Lincoln Center, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Nancy McLaughlin’s short tenure on the Spokane County Commission may be coming to an end, as she trailed fellow Republican Josh Kerns and Democratic City Councilwoman Candace Mumm in the first count of primary ballots Tuesday.

McLaughlin, who was appointed to fill a vacancy on the commission in February, won 27.9 percent of ballots counted. Kerns, a legislative aide to state Rep. Jeff Holy, had 31.4 percent. Mumm led both with 40.7 percent.

“Obviously, I’m a little disappointed by the early results,” McLaughlin said.

She said she remained hopeful that late counting would turn the tide in her favor.

“It’s very early. We’ll see what tomorrow night brings,” she said. “This race is in God’s hands now.”

Mumm, meanwhile, was enthusiastic about her prospects. She could become the only Democrat on the commission, unless Commissioner Shelly O’Quinn loses her seat to Andrew Biviano in the November election.

“I am so thankful that the voters decided they wanted a change for Spokane County,” Mumm said. “I’m very excited to see the numbers that came in tonight.”

Mumm was elected in 2013 to replace McLaughlin on the Spokane City Council after term limits forced McLaughlin out.

Kerns also has crossed paths with McLaughlin. In February, he was the Spokane County GOP’s second choice to fill the commission vacancy left by Todd Mielke – behind McLaughlin.

“I think the voters really want someone that will take a strong stance against increasing taxes,” said Kerns, who has never held an elected office.

District 1 encompasses the northern third of Spokane County. Only voters in the district could vote in the primary, but all county voters will have a say in the November election.