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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Retired Air National Guard member announces candidacy, hopes to unseat county Commissioner Al French

Molly Marshall, a 30-year veteran who’s advocated for public safety, transportation and infrastructure improvements in the Latah Valley, has announced she’s running to represent Spokane County District 5 on the county commission.  (Courtesy of Molly Marshall)

A retired Washington Air National Guard member has announced her candidacy to represent the West Plains on the Spokane County Board of Commissioners.

Molly Marshall, a retired lieutenant colonel, spent 30 years in the military working her way up from a junior enlisted member to a senior officer and KC-135 tanker pilot. She now hopes to unseat longtime incumbent Al French as the county commissioner representing the county’s 5th district.

Most of her time in the military was with the 141st Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, which included deployments in the Gulf War, Deliberate Force, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom missions.

Marshall said her military experience, her two years co-leading the Citizen’s Action for Latah Valley and her experience on the Grandview/Thorpe Neighborhood Council has given her a strong background on important issues in the district, including transportation, public safety and development.

She has spent years advocating for sustainable growth along the U.S. Highway 195 corridor, where she’s said local road and water infrastructure has not kept up with development. Marshall has lived in the Grandview/Thorpe neighborhood for more than 20 years and has lived in the Spokane area since the ’90s.

“The residents of District 5 are facing serious public safety issues so severe that people’s lives are at risk,” Marshall said in a statement announcing her candidacy. “The Western part of Spokane County deserves better representation by a commissioner who protects our citizens, before the problems reach a crisis level.”

Environmental concerns are also an area of focus for Marshall, including the chemical contamination of the West Plains groundwater, conservation, wildfire risks and increased environmental oversight over area zoning designations.

“After last summer with the wildfires, it became apparent that we really need to focus on mitigation,” Marshall said in an interview. “We have a big risk, and we really need to start addressing how we’re going to handle that.”

Marshall, who describes herself as a moderate Democrat, has received endorsements from a number of prominent Democratic elected officials in Eastern Washington.

Spokane Mayor Lisa Brown, Spokane City Council members Paul Dillon and Zack Zappone, state lawmaker Timm Ormsby and former County Commissioner John Roskelly have all voiced their support, as have former city council members Phyllis Holmes, Candace Mumm and Jon Snyder.