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One of the first debates between the two candidates for Spokane mayor – incumbent Mary Verner and challenger David Condon – focused on style. Condon promised to take charge of the bureaucracy.
Fresh off the Spokane City Council’s decision to raise water rates for next year, Spokane mayoral candidate David Condon released a new commercial this week attacking that decision. The ad so far is running only on YouTube, but he said it likely will hit TV airwaves as the election draws closer.
The attorney representing Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. filed a motion Thursday asking a federal judge to move the upcoming trial because of “intense” media coverage and because it has become a political issue in the city mayoral race. Carl Oreskovich acknowledged in his filing that the deadline for such motions passed on July 21. He wrote that he had been withholding his request for change of venue to see if attorneys had difficulty finding a jury to hear evidence about Thompson’s fatal confrontation with Otto Zehm.
The attorney representing Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. filed a motion today asking a federal judge to move the upcoming Oct. 11 trial because of “intense” media coverage and because it has become a political issue in the upcoming mayoral election.
It is sad that the Otto Zehm case is becoming a political spectacle. Sad, and absolutely appropriate. Because it’s hard to see what else – apart from insistent public pressure and repeated uncomfortable questions – might lead to an actual public accounting of how the leadership has led.
A hastily arranged briefing by Spokane Mayor Mary Verner on Friday announcing her desire for a complete internal and external review of the Otto Zehm controversy turned into a platform for Councilman Bob Apple to denounce what he called the city’s history of “sweeping incidents under the rug.” Apple, who was not invited to Verner’s announcement, said he agrees with Verner’s idea but believes it has come years too late.
Spokane mayoral challenger David Condon today called the city’s handling of the Otto Zehm case “an indictment” on city government, and called for greater police oversight as well as at least one dismissal from the city attorney’s office.
The primary is past tense. The shocking election results are (mostly) in. In capturing a whopping 59.9 percent of the vote Tuesday night, incumbent Mary Verner is making the most serious run at becoming the city’s first two-term mayor since way back when FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover showed up to work in a red satin prom dress.
In Spokane, where voters routinely chew up and spit out their chief elected officials after one term, Mayor Mary Verner’s primary win Tuesday was rare. But to finish with nearly twice as many votes as her closest opponent, David Condon, is unprecedented. It’s a story best told by numbers.
Can Mary Verner break the curse of the one-term mayors? For a big clue, residents can look to the upcoming primary election. No Spokane mayor has won re-election in four decades, but Verner is intent on doing so. The mayoral primary – ballots go out this week – promises few surprises. At this point, only Verner and David Condon seem to have the support and campaign funds to win, although they face three long-shot challengers. But, assuming they take the top two spots, who finishes on top and the distance between them will give voters their first clue as to what November may hold.
David Condon gives his positions on taxes, libraries, streets and other issues facing the city in The Spokesman-Review's Spokane City Council candidate questionnaire. Condon faces Michael Noder, Robert Kroboth, Mary Verner and Barbara Lampert in the race for a seat representing South Spokane.
With about six weeks to go before the August primary, one challenger for the job of Spokane mayor has raised almost twice as much as incumbent Mary Verner. The other three challengers, however, haven’t raised anything.