At least three people are running this year to represent northwest Spokane on the City Council, and at least two of them may be familiar to local voters.
Randy McGlenn II, former chair of the state Libertarian Party and active member of his neighborhood councils, was the first to announce his candidacy. He previously made three unsuccessful runs for state legislature.
Christopher Savage, board president for Meals on Wheels Spokane, was the second to announce. This will be his third run in four years for a seat on city council.
Esteban Herevia, who until recently served as president and CEO of Spokane Pride, which organizes the annual Spokane Pride Parade and Festival, was the last to announce. This will be Herevia’s first run for public office.
They’re all running for a seat in District 3 held by Councilwoman Karen Stratton, who will reach her term limit at the end of the year. The district, which has two seats, is also represented by Councilman Zack Zappone, whose term is not up until 2025.
The district stretches north from the Spokane River and west of Division Street, and after redistricting in 2022 also includes Browne’s Addition. Growth has outstripped infrastructure improvements in some parts of the district, particularly in the North Indian Trail, Five Mile and West Central neighborhoods, according to the district’s incumbents.
“My district doesn’t care who I voted for president, and they don’t want political fights,” said Stratton in a brief interview. “They want safe parks, garbage picked up, streets plowed.”
Though Herevia, McGlenn and Savage are the first to announce their candidacy, they might not be the last. Candidates will have until filing week, May 15-19, to throw their hats into the ring.
Unlike other candidates already in the race to represent northwest Spokane, Herevia has never run for public office .
“It wasn’t my first choice,” he joked in an interview. “It’s not something I thought I’d do.”
“But I care for my community, and I understand that the ways I’ve contributed in the nonprofit world could be replicated in civil service.”
Like other candidates running for public office, Herevia is running on improving public safety and increasing the city’s housing stock.
Also like other candidates, he had few concrete proposals for how to do that, saying he was still at the stage of the campaign where he was focused on listening to the concerns of voters.
“I think we’re at a time in the city where we need mediators,” he said.
He emphasized that he wants more resources provided to support law enforcement during domestic violence calls, which can be particularly dangerous to both law enforcement and the public.
He’s also focused on improving the conditions of local streets and other transportation infrastructure, saying he’d like to look at finding more room in the budget to patch potholes and maintain roads.
“It might seem trivial, but potholes are a big deal,” he said. “We need to be able to get to work without damaging our cars.”
He also said he wants to build better job pipelines for local residents, including by strengthening relationships with local colleges and universities.
“We need to be thinking about, how can we be increasing the capacity of our citizens and community members, whether that’s through job pathways or their health and well-being?” he said.
Originally from California, Herevia moved to Spokane in 2016 to work at Whitworth University.
“I fell in love with Spokane,” he said. “It felt like the right community, the right blend of people.”
Today, he works as the Pathways and Inclusion Coordinator for Washington State University Spokane.
Herevia stressed that he is a member of the working class.
“I’m a renter, I work multiple jobs to pay my rent, so I understand what it’s like for folks who are living paycheck to paycheck,” he said.
McGlenn is no stranger to running for public office. In 2014, 2016 and 2018, he ran as a Libertarian for a seat on the state Legislature against Rep. Marcus Riccelli, D-Spokane.
Though he lost each time to the incumbent, the experience taught him the ropes of running a campaign and listening to constituents, he said in an interview. He’s spent the last seven years “earning his stripes,” he said, including by serving on the East Central Neighborhood Council for six years, including a stint as its chair.
He serves as the community assembly representative for the West Central Neighborhood Council.
Now in his first run for city-level office, McGlenn said he plans to set aside his party affiliation while trying to bring smart solutions to the nonpartisan City Council seat. He said he was inspired to run for council after witnessing the contentious fight between state and city leaders over Camp Hope.
“We need to fix this in our government, this type of tribalism and especially partisan politics in a nonpartisan government,” he said.
McGlenn said his focus was on improving public safety, housing and homelessness, though he offered few concrete policy proposals.
“I can talk to you all day long about computer networks and technology, but I’m not a housing expert or public safety expert,” he said. “I wouldn’t dare work on policy without consulting the experts.”
McGlenn had more to say about the process of governance, saying he’d like to bring the city’s technology into the 21st century and take a long hard look at its budget, including the council’s own departmental expenditures on staff.
He emphasized that he would be willing to work with any elected leader or community group to reach consensus.
“Bottom line is, I want to make policy that creates a sustainable government, that respects the rights of everyone, that is responsive to our citizens, and making everyone feel heard at city hall,” he said.
Though McGlenn was born in Tacoma, he was 3 months old when his family moved to Spokane. He joined the U.S. Army in 1994, working for four years the “paper pusher arm” of the institution processing assignments and promotions. He went back to school in 2000 to pursue an education in technology, and has worked various positions since graduation in the tech sector, including programming, networking and business technology solutions.
Savage ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2019 and 2021.
“Third time’s the charm,” Savage said in a recent interview. “I think I’ve troubleshooted a lot and corrected mistakes from past runs, and I’m concerned about the direction this city is going.”
If elected, Savage said he would provide a different perspective than the council’s left-leaning supermajority on myriad issues. He pointed to recent votes on higher fees on new development, saying that he preferred the lighter touch advocated for by Councilman Jonathan Bingle.
His top campaign issues include public safety, housing and homelessness.
Though Savage presented few specific policies to improve public safety, he said that he would better support police, decrying what he felt was a “standoff” relationship between the council majority and law enforcement.
On affordable housing, Savage said he would work to expand the city’s boundary for growth when it revisits the Growth Management Act in 2026.
“I don’t want to abolish (the GMA), but I want to increase the artificial ring around the city of Spokane to assist with development,” he said.
Savage said he supported efforts to create a regional homelessness workgroup in order to cut redundancies in social services.
While he wasn’t prepared to make definitive statements on how we would like to reform the city’s shelter system, he expressed skepticism that the city was carefully selecting the vendors that provide services.
Savage has lived most of his life in Spokane. He is board president of Meals on Wheels Spokane and the community assembly representative for the Balboa/South Indian Trail Neighborhood Council.
A former Lyft driver, Savage works at Project Beauty Share, a nonprofit that provides hygiene and beauty products to disadvantages women and families.