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Spokane voters petition court over city council candidate's residency

The suit claims that Spokane City Council District 2 candidate Tyler LeMasters has not met the residency requirements for the City Council position.
Credit: Tyler LeMasters

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane City Council candidate Tyler LeMasters is facing a petition to remove him from the 2021 general election ballot; the challenge claims he has not lived in Spokane long enough to meet the residency requirement. 

LeMasters is running for the District 2 city council position. The petition of removal was filed by two registered Spokane voters, Paul Dillion and Mary Winkes, who claim that LeMasters has physically lived in the City of Spokane for less than a year before he filed to be on the ballot. 

The plaintiffs point to Spokane City Charter, Article II section 6(A) that says, "“A person must be a qualified voter of the City of Spokane and have been a resident of the city, and of the appropriate council district, for the one year immediately preceding the time of filing as a candidate for . . . council member.”    

LeMasters filed as a council member candidate on May 18, 2021 meaning he needed to live in Spokane full time since May 18, 2020. However, the court records acquired by KREM 2 News claim LeMasters was living in Alexandria, Virginia at some point before May 2021. 

LeMasters was working at a job in Washington D.C. until Nov. 3, 2020, he moved to District 2 after that time.

The petition says that the earliest LeMasters could have lived at his Spokane address is January 2021, that's only four months before the May filing date. 

Dillion and Winkes say that since LeMasters has not met the residency requirement he should be removed from the ballot. Spokane County Auditor Vicky Dalton was also cited in this petition of removal because she approved LeMasters for the ballot. 

However, Dalton spoke with KREM 2 and said she does not verify how long a candidate has lived at an address, only that they are a registered voter in the county. She does not enforce city charters.  

LeMasters has a chance to respond to this petition to show why he should not be removed.

KREM 2 also reached out to the LeMasters campaign but as of 3:15 p.m. have not heard back.