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Incumbent Deer Park City Council member says he has more work to do

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 14, 2021

By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

The race for Deer Park City Council Position 3 has narrowed to incumbent Richard Schut and challenger Heather Newsom.

A third candidate, Mike Achurra, was eliminated in the primary. Schut earned 47% of the vote and Newsom received 38%.

Schut has served on the council for the last four years.

Newsom, who ran unsuccessfully for a Deer Park City Council position in 2019, does not appear to have any political experience.

Schut grew up in several towns in Eastern Washington, including Pateros, Deer Park, Loon Lake, Chewelah and Spokane. He was homeschooled and earned his GED in 1997 before attending Spokane Falls Community College to study graphic design. He founded his own business, which provides marketing and IT services to small business owners, in 2002.

Newsom, a graduate of Riverside High School, did not respond to several interview requests.

Information she submitted for the Spokane County voters guide lists her as a bartender for the Fraternal Order of Eagles for the last 11 years.

“I believe in attempting to maintain the small town feel of Deer Park,” Newsom said, “listening to citizens and making the best decisions possible for our town.”

Schut, who did not respond to recent requests for an interview, did participate in an interview ahead of the primary election. In that interview, he said he was running for reelection because there was more work to do that had been put on hold during the pandemic, including modernizing the city by doing things like getting official city email addresses for council members.

“There was a lot of things I’d hoped to accomplish on the City Council during my first term, but there was this little thing called a pandemic,” he said. “We’ve been basically on hold for the last year and half on many things. There’s still a lot of things that are important that I want to get done.”

Schut indicated he was on the fence in regards to the city getting its own police department, which has been a topic of discussion in the city.

“We need to take a really close look at that and see what we can do,” he said. “That may be one of the possibilities. There needs to be a lot of work into investigating that.”

The city recently created a committee to help select a consultant who will prepare a report on the feasibility of the city paying to create its own police department.

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