As the first wave of election results were tabulated and released Tuesday at 8 p.m., mayoral candidate Nadine Woodward boasted a commanding lead of nearly 2,000 votes and opponent Ben Stuckart, the city’s two-term city council president, abruptly conceded, ending a tumultuous election for Spokane’s highest office.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Woodward received 51.8% of the vote or 23,134 votes from the electorate in Spokane, while Stuckart tallied 21,251 votes and 47.6% of the vote at first count.
“Spokane, we did it,” Woodward said as she began her acceptance speech according to The Spokesman-Review’s Adam Shank. “I firmly believe our best days lie ahead. Let’s get to work!” she said as she closed.
The former broadcast journalist, Woodward ran a campaign pledging to prioritize public safety while also increasing housing, curating economic development and reducing Spokane’s homeless population.
“Very vibrant and thriving, a downtown that is safe and comfortable for everyone,” Woodward said would be the results Spokane would see if she were elected Mayor during an interview last month. “People who were formerly homeless and maybe needed mental illness help and addiction help are getting the help they need.”
She wants to see a Spokane with more businesses, more job opportunities and by increasing the city’s median income.
Down the ballot, Spokane’s City Council President race has yet to be called with business-owner Cindy Wendle holding a lead of nearly 800 votes over Breean Beggs, a current city councilman representing District 3.
Wendle had received 21,964 votes as of Wednesday’s count with Beggs sitting closely behind at 21,113, a gap of less than 2% of votes tallied.
Michael Cathcart leads the election for City Council representative in District 1, which encompasses Gonzaga and the Logan Neighborhood, as opponent Tim Benn lags behind. The most recent count has Cathcart with a commanding 52.6% lead having received 4,568 votes, but Benn, who received 3,838 votes, has yet to bow out.
City Council positions in Spokane’s two other districts have two vastly different results.
Incumbent Lori Kinnear swept her way to another term representing District 2 by garnering 67.6% of the votes compared to her opponent Tony Kiepe’s 32%.
The race to represent District 3 is much closer as incumbent Karen Stratton holds a slight advantage with 7,665 votes compared to challenger Andy Rathbun’s 7,292 votes.
As of Wednesday afternoon, voter turnout in Spokane County was 30.4%, expectedly low during this off-year election. Upon most recent tabulation, more than 100,000 ballots had been counted with approximately 54,000 remaining to count.