Breaking News
More () »

'I want to get at truth': New Spokane mayoral candidate running write-in campaign

Nicolette Ocheltree helped organize demonstrations in support of Drag Queen Story Hour and decided she wanted to get more involved in city politics.

For weeks, there have been five candidates running for mayor of Spokane. Now, there are six.

Nicolette Ocheltree has declared a write-in campaign.

She won't be on the ballot, of course, but she has filed with the Public Disclosure Commission and has an active social media presence and website, which details her platform, largely focused on promoting tolerance.

She says she has paid careful attention to Spokane politics for a long time, often engaging with the issues on Facebook. But after a while, she began to tire of merely commenting and decided she wanted to act.

"Instead of complaining about it on Facebook, if I really want to change something about how Spokane is run or ask the hard questions that nobody is asking, then I have to do it myself," Ocheltree said.

The first issue she acted on was Drag Queen Story Hour.

She formed a Facebook page called "500 Drag Queen Strong," which helped organize demonstrations in favor of the event.

"There were so many people that came out in support, especially in that first story hour day, that it was inspiring. It blew my mind," she said.

After that, Ocheltree realized she was unsatisfied with the political scene in Spokane, and the candidates for mayor. So, she decided to run herself.

She grew up in Spokane, and says she actually spent some time as a child homeless. She says she later studied at Southern Methodist University and then Columbia University, and is now a philosopher working on a book about skepticism.

She wants to take that training and use it to approach the city's issues with tough questioning, she says.

"I have always been on the side of truth. When I ask the hard questions, it's because I want to get at truth," said Ocheltree.

One product of some of that questioning was a stack of notes written by homeless Spokanites she's spoken with, covered with detailed ideas on what they'd need to get off their feet.

But Ocheltree says the first step has to be addressing some of the rhetoric surrounding the big issues in Spokane.

"There are a lot of problems with the stigma attached to homeless people, and I think that's almost as big of a problem as the problem of homelessness," she said.

Even if it doesn't end in victory, Ocheltree hopes her mayoral run will make a difference in her city.

"If I don't win, that's fine. I want to be able to ask the hard questions," she said.

See more coverage of the 2019 race for Spokane Mayor:

RELATED: How major Spokane candidates are spending their money

RELATED: RECAP: Four Spokane mayoral candidates take part in community forum

RELATED: Mayoral candidate Shawn Poole discusses platform: 'A real simplistic approach to problem-solving'

RELATED: Ben Stuckart discusses mayoral platform: 'It needs to be about what we want Spokane to be'

RELATED: Spokane mayoral candidate Kelly Cruz on homelessness, public safety

RELATED: Former pastor Jonathan Bingle discusses platform for Spokane mayoral run

RELATED: 'It all goes back to listening': Spokane mayoral candidate Nadine Woodward discusses platform

Before You Leave, Check This Out