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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Lish falling just short in Spokane; Higgins overtakes Johnson in Spokane Valley

Nov. 5, 2021 Updated Fri., Nov. 5, 2021 at 8:32 p.m.

The Spokane County Elections OfficeÕs voted ballot room is photographed on Tuesday, Nov 2, 2021, in Spokane, Wash.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
The Spokane County Elections OfficeÕs voted ballot room is photographed on Tuesday, Nov 2, 2021, in Spokane, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

After trailing on election day, Rod Higgins overtook James “JJ” Johnson Friday in a race for Spokane Valley City Council that could be headed for a recount.

Higgins has just a bit over 50% of the vote, good for a gap of 86 votes. Johnson had led by more than 3.5 percentage points after the initial results were posted on election day.

The threshold for an automatic recount is a gap of anything less than 0.5 percentage points between the two leading candidates, according to Washington State law.

The result of the Spokane Valley race has significant implications not only for the council, but for who serves as the city’s mayor. The Spokane Valley mayor is appointed by the rest of the City Council’s members.

In the city of Spokane, Zack Zappone’s lead over Mike Lish in the race for Spokane City Council was slashed in half on Friday, but few ballots are left uncounted and Lish’s chances are dwindling.

Zappone’s lead dropped from 3 to 1.3 percentage points over Lish, a margin of 269 votes, as last-minute ballots were tallied on Friday. If that gap holds, it would not be enough to trigger an automatic recount.

There are only 25 ballots, countywide, left to count, according to the Spokane County Elections office.

That leaves Zappone, a teacher, poised to replace Councilwoman Candace Mumm representing northwest Spokane on the City Council.

Results will not be tallied and posted again until Friday. The election is scheduled to be certified on Nov. 23.

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