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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Kim Plese, former business owner, announces bid for Spokane City Council President

Feb. 22, 2023 Updated Wed., Feb. 22, 2023 at 9:07 p.m.

Plese  (Courtesy photo)
Plese (Courtesy photo)

Kim Plese, a former small business owner who ran unsuccessfully last year for a seat on the Spokane County Commission, has announced her bid to become Spokane City Council president.

Plese is the first person to announce their intention to run for the nonpartisan position currently held by Breean Beggs. In a text, Beggs said he is not yet ready to announce any 2023 campaign plans but planned to do so by March 9.

Plese was the owner and operator of Plese Printing and Marketing for 32 years, before selling the business last year to focus on her campaign for the County Commission. She ran as a Republican, losing to Democrat Chris Jordan.

In a Wednesday press release, Plese said she was running to change the focus and rhetoric of the City Council.

“I’m running for Spokane City Council President because our City Council must do better about working for the citizens of Spokane, not for personal agendas,” Plese wrote.

“The current Council majority spends more time and taxpayer dollars weighing in on issues that are outside of the scope of their official duties rather than reaching solutions on critical issues including housing, homelessness, and public safety.”

Plese offered few specific policy proposals in an interview, saying that it was early in the campaign and she would have more to offer in the coming weeks and months. However, she said she wanted to see more focus on job training for the homeless, and that she would better support Spokane police.

Plese added that she felt the current council majority and council president spent too much time “bickering” with Mayor Nadine Woodward and criticizing local law enforcement.

“I believe I can do a much better job at collaborating and being an effective leader,” she said.

Shortly after her recent electoral loss, Plese said she was encouraged by dozens of supporters in the community to run again.

“They saw how much I love my city, how hard I worked,” she said. “They knew me from my work ethic and from being in business so long.”

She declined to respond to questions regarding her responses to a We Believe, We Vote questionnaire during the 2022 campaign season. The conservative Christian organization based in Spokane asks political candidates questions on moral and social issues from a biblical perspective.

The nonprofit this year asked politicians whether they think the Washington law that grants women the right to an abortion should be repealed or challenged.

Plese responded with a 10 on a scale of 1-10, indicating that she fully agreed the state’s reproductive privacy act should be repealed or challenged.

In later interviews, however, Plese had said that she doesn’t believe the state law should be repealed, but wouldn’t clarify her answer to the survey.

On Wednesday, Plese said the topic was not relevant to the position she is seeking.

While the state protections mentioned in the survey are not the purview of the City Council, Spokane’s legislative body has weighed in on the controversial issue in the past.

In 2022, local lawmakers passed a resolution aimed at barring Spokane city employees, including police officers, from assisting in investigations or the prosecution of abortion patients or providers.

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