If the candidates can agree on one thing, it’s that they agree on little when it comes to politics.
But Naghama Sherazi and Jonathan Bingle, opponents in the race for Spokane City Council’s District 1, get along just fine.
The two shared the backstory of their personal relationship during a recent debate hosted by the Rotary Club of Spokane.
Sherazi and Bingle had met at the Hillyard Hi-Jinx Parade during their respective unsuccessful runs for office in 2019 – Sherazi in District 1 and Bingle for mayor.
Bingle regaled Sherazi, who grew up in Pakistan, about how his parents were Christian missionaries and their family spent time in the Punjab region along the border of India and Pakistan when he was a child.
When the pandemic hit, Sherazi posted on Facebook that she was worried about her immunocompromised son and afraid to step out of the house.
Bingle reached out and offered to pick her up some groceries while on a trip to Winco.
“I thought that was so kind of him to reach out to me as a neighbor,” said Sherazi, adding that Bingle declined to take money.
Later, when Bingle’s wife, Christina, gave birth, Sherazi dropped off dinner multiple times.
“When you’re in that situation, it’s really nice to see that level of care that she had for me and my family. That’s something I’ll never forget,” Bingle said.
The food, he added, was “very delicious,” and the two joked that they should open a restaurant together.
“It reminded me of my childhood in a moment where we’re very tired…it was a special comfort in that time,” Bingle recalled.
The two are practically neighbors, according to Sherazi, living just a couple blocks away from one another, and they’ve shared meaningful spiritual conversations.
“Naghmana and I, we enjoy each other’s company, we just disagree pretty strongly on some political positions,” Bingle told The Spokesman-Review.
That’s just fine with Bingle, who said he values the diversity of opinion in those he surrounds himself with.
“I think that’s important to have in politics,” Bingle said.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.