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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

School board races in Spokane, West Valley show victors; Cheney and Deer Park unclear

Candidates Ericka Lalka and Mike Wiser

Spokane School Board President Mike Wiser easily advanced to the November election in Tuesday’s primary and will face Realtor Ericka Lalka.

Voters in the West Valley , Cheney and Deer Park school districts also made school board picks in Tuesday’s primary. West Valley’s results are clear, but the finalists in other races remain uncertain until the remainder of votes are counted later this week.

Spokane Public Schools

Wiser was the clear winner in the race for the Spokane School Board, winning 56.9% of the vote. Lalka, who’s active in the Republican Party, won 34% of the vote. Uber driver David Voltz trailed behind the winners with 8.3% of the vote. School board members in the district serve a six-year term.

Wiser said he sees the figures as approval from voters on the work the school board has done in reconfiguring middle school to include sixth-graders, designing human growth and development curriculum, advancing equity in discipline and staying fiscally responsible.

“I’ve felt during this campaign that I’d be happy to run on what I’ve been part of as a board member these last six-plus years,” Wiser said. “What I’m seeing tonight means that I’ll continue that current path.”

Lalka said her vision for the district will attract voters who desire a change in Spokane schools.

”I feel great, I think we’re building momentum,” Lalka said “I love that so many people turned out to vote in this election. I’m so grateful to my team; I know we put a lot of effort into this.”

West Valley

Voters were decisive in their selections of the West Valley race for a four-year term. Amy Anselmo, a teacher at Chase Middle School, polled 55.7%. She’s trailed by the 25.6% earned by crisis line supervisor S. John Dubois, who has prioritized student mental health in his campaign. Home-schooler and Libertarian Party member Tricia Phillips will not appear in November’s ballot, garnering 17.4% of the votes.


Cheney Public Schools had two seats in the primary ballot .

In District 4, John Boerger, who served on a West Side school board for 14 years, leads with 35.7% of the votes. His margin over his opponents is slim, followed by Air Force veteran Bill Hanson, who touted extensive volunteer experience in schools, with 32.2%. Rick Flynn, a sustainable hydroponic farmer and Air Force veteran, received 30.9%. Tuesday’s reported vote counts represent a portion of the total ballots, with more to be counted later in the week.

In District 5, voters overwhelmingly supported real estate broker and incumbent Mitch Swenson, who captured 51.4% of votes. Tuesday’s results don’t indicate a clear challenger. Farmer Ivan Khala, who in the past made headlines for “disruptions” at school board meetings, has a 32-vote edge over lineman for the city and wrestling coach Bill Lathrop, receiving 24.1% and 23.4%, respectively.

Deer Park School District

Deer Park voters had their choice between five hopefuls for that district’s open seat the next four years. Though it’s still close, incumbent Eric Keller and retired engineer Richard Price will likely advance, receiving 30.5% and 28.1% of the votes, respectively. District volunteer Meegan Ware, real estate agent Samantha Jordan and district volunteer Shauneen Flugell didn’t rack up the votes necessary to oust the victors.