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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Election update: Lish gains on Zappone in Spokane, incumbents still trailing in Spokane Valley

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 3, 2021

By Adam Shanks and Colin Tiernan The Spokesman-Review

The race to represent northwest Spokane on the Spokane City Council remains too close to call, as are several other local races.

Spokane City Council candidate Mike Lish gained ground on opponent Zack Zappone as additional ballots were tallied on Wednesday, but it’s unclear whether enough uncounted votes in his favor remain to put him over the top.

Zappone lost more than a percentage point in his lead over Lish the day after election day. He leads with 51% of the vote compared to Lish’s 48%. Previously, Zappone had held a lead of more than four percentage points.

The winner will replace Councilwoman Candace Mumm, who termed out after serving eight years on the City Council.

Elsewhere in Spokane County, the additional counting made little difference in prominent races.

Two Spokane Valley races are still too close to call.

Incumbent City Councilwoman Linda Thompson appears likely to lose her seat. She has 48% of the vote compared to 52% for challenger Laura Padden. Padden’s lead has grown slightly since the initial Tuesday night returns.

Incumbent City Councilman Rod Higgins appears likely to lose his seat, too. He’s received 48% of the vote, putting him behind James “JJ” Johnson, who’s managed 51%. Higgins has narrowed the gap slightly since Tuesday .

In the race for Mead School Board, BrieAnne Gray continues to hold a slim lead over Carmen Green with 51% of the vote.

In the race for Spokane Municipal Judge, Gloria Ochoa-Bruck continued to hold a lead over incumbent Matthew Antush.

Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton said turnout was “pretty good” for an off-year election. She estimated about 39% of registered voters cast ballots.

Dalton said voter behavior was a bit unusual this year and called turnout “bizarre.” She said a third of voters waited until the final day to cast their ballots.

That’s an unusually large percentage of people who waited until the last minute, Dalton said.

More than 96,500 ballots have been counted . About 29,000 ballots are in the auditor’s office waiting to be counted, and Dalton said several thousand more are still in the mail.

Dalton said the vast majority of ballots will have reached her office by Friday, but some can take a week or longer to arrive.

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