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Wife of state senator among those who filed to run for office in Spokane County on Monday

UPDATED: Tue., May 18, 2021

Laura Padden, the wife of longtime state Sen. Mike Padden, is among the political hopefuls who have filed to run for local office this election season.

Monday was the first day Padden and other candidates across the state could file paperwork to appear on the Aug. 3 ballot. Candidates have until 4 p.m. Friday to file.

In Spokane Valley, four city council members are up for re-election: Pam Haley, Rod Higgins, Linda Thompson and Ben Wick. The seats carry a four-year term.

All but Thompson filed by 6:30 p.m. Monday. Washington Public Disclosure Commission Filings indicate all will attempt to retain their seats this year.

Laura Padden, who has worked the last 15 years as a web developer for the Community Colleges of Spokane, has filed a challenge for Thompson’s seat.

Laura Padden said she has considerable experience with political campaigns – including those for her husband – and serves as a Republican precinct committee officer. Public safety, particularly in the face of rising areawide gang violence, would be among her priorities if elected, she said.

“I’m committed to keeping Spokane Valley a wonderful place,” said Laura Padden, whose parents moved to the area when she was young.

To date, Wick is facing a challenge from Brandon Fenton and Mark McManus. Both could not be immediately reached for comment.

Across town, Spokane City Council candidates vying to represent northeast Spokane thus far include Jonathan Bingle, Luc Jasmin III and Naghmana Sherazi. Incumbent Kate Burke has said she will not seek a second four-year term.

Bingle owns an events business called Bingle Enterprises. He was among those to run in 2019 for mayor.

Jasmin is an owner of the Parkview Early Learning Center in north Spokane. He previously ran in 2019 for a seat on the board of directors for Spokane Public Schools.

Sherazi, an employee with Gonzaga University’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, previously ran to represent the council district in 2019.

Meanwhile, candidates seeking to replace Candace Mumm – who has reached her term limit – as northwest Spokane’s representative include Lacrecia “Lu” Hill, Christopher Savage and Michael Lish, owner of D.Lish’s Hamburgers.

Hill is a yoga teacher and consultant who serves on the boards for the Spectrum Center, an LGBTQ organization, and Washington State LGBTQ Commission’s Economic Development Committee.

Savage, 30, works at Poole’s Public House. He serves on the city’s Salary Review Commission and the Spokane County Water Conservancy Board. Savage previously filed a challenge in 2019 against the district’s other representative, Karen Stratton.

With the Spokane Municipal Court, Position 3 Judge Matthew Antush is facing a challenge from Gloria Ochoa-Bruck.

Ochoa-Bruck, 48, has been an attorney since 2001. She is a former prosecutor, public defender and tribal court judge who has worked with cases in state and federal courts. Ochoa-Bruck works for the Kalispel Economic Tribal Authority as senior director of inclusion and diversity.

Under Spokane Mayor David Condon, Ochoa-Bruck served in an appointed role as the city’s director of local governmental and multicultural affairs. She served from 2013 until Condon termed out in 2019.

“I’m running because I believe this is the time and place for the courts to do more than just process cases,” she said.

Kristin C. O’Sullivan, who was appointed earlier this year to fill the vacancy left by Tracy Staab upon her election to the state Court of Appeals, has filed to retain the seat over a four-year term.

The first day of filing saw three candidates enter races for spots on the Spokane Public Schools board. The seats are for six-year terms.

Kenneth Cameron, a “mostly retired” Spokane native, filed early Monday for the position held by board President Jerrall Haynes. Cameron said he’s driven by a desire to “give back to the community.”

Two others filed for the position held by Aryn Ziehnert, who was appointed to a vacancy last year.

Riley Smith, who works in hunger relief, grew up attending public schools in Spokane and graduated from North Central High School.

“Running for office is something I’ve always been interested in,” said Smith, who said the district’s proposed boundary changes are not in line with his goal of promoting equity in the district.

A third candidate, Rion Ametu, was not reachable Monday.

Haynes and Ziehnert have not yet indicated their intentions.

Spokane City Council

District 1, Position 2: Jonathan Bingle, Luc Jasmin III, Naghmana Sherazi

District 3, Position 2: Lacrecia “Lu” Hill, Christopher Savage

Spokane Municipal Court

Position 1: Kristin O’Sullivan (i)

Position 3: Matthew Antush (i), Gloria Ochoa-Bruck

Spokane Valley City Council

Council Position 1: Rod Higgins (i)

Council Position 4: Brandon Fenton, Mark McManus, Ben Wick (i)

Council Position 5: Pamela Haley (i)

Council Position 7: Laura Padden

Spokane Public Schools Board of Directors

Position 3: Kenneth M. Cameron

Position 4: Rion Ametu, Riley Smith

  • An (i) after a name indicates the candidate is the incumbent.
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