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Former Woodward campaign manager hints at reasons for her departure in blog post

July 3, 2019 Updated Wed., July 3, 2019 at 10:55 p.m.

Nadine Woodward smiles while announcing her run for mayor of Spokane on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Nadine Woodward smiles while announcing her run for mayor of Spokane on Tuesday, April 2, 2019. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)

A former campaign manager for mayoral candidate Nadine Woodward said she was asked “to act contrary to (her) values” in a blog post on Monday.

Abra Belke, who left the campaign last week, did not elaborate on the reasons for her departure.

In the post on her blog, Capitol Hill Style, Belke does not detail her ethical concerns in working for the Woodward campaign but stated that “my advice was falling on deaf ears” and “the candidate had a very different vision of how the campaign should proceed.”

Belke declined to comment further when reached Tuesday by The Spokesman-Review.

Woodward, who could not be reached for comment Wednesday, has at times faced controversy during her campaign.

Woodward opted not to attend the first public forum in the race for mayor, hosted June 20 by community radio station KYRS. Instead, she attended a previously scheduled campaign event.

She was quoted in an interview with the Inlander suggesting that homeless people not be allowed in the city’s public library. Woodward then told television station KXLY that her comments were taken out of context by the Inlander. But in a report published last week, the station verified the quote by obtaining audio of the Inlander interview.

Woodward previously refused an interview with the Inlander, only to later tell the publication that she had only intended to decline “one interview and not all interviews with the Inlander,” editor Jacob Fries explained in an update on June 13.

Belke was the second campaign manager for Woodward and succeeded Eleanor Baumgartner, who left under different circumstances. Baumgartner said the plan from the onset was for her to manage the campaign only through its kickoff.

“There was no controversy,” Baumgartner said.

A former TV news anchor for KXLY, Woodward is one of five candidates on the ballot in the upcoming primary election and has focused her platform on addressing homelessness, improving public safety and creating jobs.

Woodward’s campaign has out-raised that of every other candidate. As of the most recent filing, Woodward reported $125,974.06 in total cash contributions.

Payments made to Baumgartner, the first campaign manager, are reflected in the filings. There are no payments to Belke listed as of June 30.

Belke is the founder and editor of Capitol Hill Style, a “fashion blog for D.C. women who didn’t want to sacrifice their personal style for professional success,” according to its website. She previously worked as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives and as a federal liaison for the National Rifle Association, according to her LinkedIn profile.

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