All three Spokane Valley City Council incumbents made it safely through Tuesday’s primary, but the results show a mixture of hotly contested and one-sided races.
City Councilwoman Linda Thompson will have to fight hard if she wants to retain her seat in the general election this November.
Thompson, who has run as a Democrat in the past and is seen as one of the Council’s more liberal members, came in second in the primary.
As of Thursday, she had 36% of the vote compared to 42% for challenger Laura Padden, a conservative and wife of District 4 state Sen. Mike Padden.
Candidates Adam “Smash” Smith and Renault Patrick Evans took in 15% and 7% of the vote, respectively. It’s likely that many of Evans’ votes will shift to Padden in the general election, and it’s possible that some of the Smith votes could move to Thompson.
In a primary election, the top two candidates move on to the general election in November. Spokane Valley City Council races are officially nonpartisan.
Maps of Spokane Valley voter preference by precinct don’t reveal any particularly bold patterns in the Thompson-Padden split.
Precincts in the middle part of the Valley were essentially a toss-up between the two candidates.
Padden did best in a precinct that straddles Mission Avenue and lies east of Argonne Road. She generally did well in the north and eastern parts of the Valley.
Thompson did best in a precinct due south of 32nd Avenue and east of Dishman-Mica Road. She also had strong showings on the Valley’s western edge.
Spokane Valley Mayor Ben Wick, a conservative who’s viewed as fairly moderate, easily outpaced the competition in his primary race.
Wick earned 60% of the vote compared to 30% for Brandon Fenton. Fenton describes himself as a Trump Republican and co-owns the Black Diamond bar in Spokane Valley, an establishment that made headlines for defying Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 closure orders.
Candidates Christopher Ingraham and Mark McManus each took home 5%, but McManus had dropped out and Ingraham did little, if any, campaigning.
Every Spokane Valley precinct went for Wick over Fenton. There was some overlap between the precincts that went strongest for Wick and precincts that went strongest for Thompson.
Wick support was generally stronger in the southern portion of the Valley.
City Councilwoman Pam Haley wasn’t quite as dominant during the primaries as Wick, but she still waltzed on to the general.
Haley, a conservative, took 47% of the vote compared to 26% for Wayne Fenton, Brandon Fenton’s father and co-owner at the Black Diamond.
Pat Stretch, who died in May after an accident while climbing Mount Hood, took 13% of the vote and Mary Butler-Stonewall, who describes herself not as liberal or conservative but a “constitutionalist,” managed 14%.
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