Conservative and progressive choices advanced in both Spokane City Council races on the ballot in Tuesday’s primary.
Jonathan Bingle held a commanding lead in the race to represent northeast Spokane on the City Council on Tuesday, but who he’ll face in November remains uncertain.
Naghmana Sherazi and Luc Jasmin III were within one percentage point of each other, according to initial primary election results. Bingle held a commanding lead and earned about 47% of the votes tallied thus far.
In northwest Spokane, Mike Lish and Zack Zappone emerged as the top two vote-getters from a crowded field.
In a primary election, the top two candidates move on to the general election in November. All results are unofficial until certified by the Spokane County Auditor.
In the District 1 race in northeast Spokane, Sherazi held a slight lead for second place over Jasmin, earning 1,460 votes to Jasmin’s 1,416. The ultimate winner among the two progressive candidates will face Bingle, the most conservative candidate in the race.
The race in northeast Spokane opened up wide when Councilwoman Kate Burke announced earlier this year that she would not seek a second term in office.
“You just don’t know until the time happens, and I think the voters pretty soundly said what they wanted,” Bingle said.
Five candidates were vying for a first term in office in northwest Spokane. The winner will replace Councilwoman Candace Mumm, who has represented District 3 since winning election in 2013 and is unable to run again due to term limits.
Zappone held a solid lead when results were posted on Tuesday, winning 43% of the votes. Lish was in second place with 29%.
“The results are pretty overwhelmingly clear that voters want a council member who has ideas and policy solutions,” Zappone said.
Karen Kearney with 11.7% and Lacrecia “Lu” Hill with 11.6% were the closest behind. Christopher Savage earned fifth place, according to the initial results.
Bingle ran for mayor in 2019 but came up short in the primary.
He has centered his campaign on addressing housing and homelessness, but as separate issues. Homelessness, he has said, is a “human problem,” not a housing problem. That said, he has declared the need to build more housing immediately and has won the financial backing of the Spokane Association of Realtors.
“I really think I was the only one that was actually speaking to the issues that the community cares about right now, public safety and homelessness,” Bingle said.
Jasmin and Sherazi appear to have split the more progressive vote in northeast Spokane.
Sherazi, who ran for the same seat in 2019 but lost in the primary, is the communications coordinator at Gonzaga University Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Sherazi had Burke’s endorsement, while Jasmin is backed by state Sen. Andy Billig and City Council President Breean Beggs.
Jasmin is the owner of a child care facility and statewide advocate for child care funding.
The race in northwest Spokane featured more separation between second and third place.
Zappone, a substitute teacher in local schools and program manager at Better Health Together, is running for City Council less than a year after losing a bid for the state House of Representatives. He said he will prioritize the public health and safety of the community.
“I’m the candidate who has shown that I have qualifications and experiences to work on the problems facing our community right now, and I have a track record of showing up,” Zappone said.
Lish, the president of D. Lish’s Hamburgers, has said he wants to bring “common sense” to the City Council.
There was no primary for Council District 2, as Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson and challenger Tyler LeMasters are the only two candidates and will automatically move on to the November ballot.
Wilkerson has served on the council since her appointment in January 2020 and is seeking her first full term, while LeMasters has not run for office previously.
All three City Council races are nonpartisan.
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