SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane will elect a new mayor in 2019, as incumbent David Condon cannot run for reelection due to term limits.
The field for the race has already begun to take shape, as five candidates have officially thrown their name in the hat as of March 11, 2019. Filing week, when candidates official file with the elections office, takes place in May.
The primary election takes place on Aug. 6, 2019, which will narrow the field down to two candidates. The general election will take place Nov. 5, 2019.
The following list of mayoral candidates is in alphabetical order by last name.
Clarification: A previous version of this story said Bingle was a pilot in the Air Force. He has since clarified that he was not in the Air Force but was working toward the Air Force while in college.
Background & Education
Jonathan Bingle was born in Spokane and graduated from Rogers High School. He attended Spokane Falls Community College before leaving to start Bingle Enterprises Inc.
He served as a pastor at the Genesis Church in North Spokane.
Bingle lists economic growth, homelessness, criminal justice and ending tax increases as his platform pillars.
Bingle says he would want to help prevent “unnecessary tax increases” on residents and small businesses in Spokane. He also wants to find ways to save money on city projects and “end wasteful spending” of tax dollars.
Bingle says the Spokane economy has momentum it can use to grow, and that he would want to continue making the area more attractive to businesses.
He says the continuing growth of the economy will provide higher paying jobs for the community and higher tax revenue.
Bingle says he sees the homeless population as being made up of three groups: "the hard timers," "the sick" and "the anti-social."
The “hard timers” group he sees as people who have come across difficulties forcing them into homelessness, and he says this group can receive help from charity groups in the city.
For the “sick” group, which are those battling drug addiction and mental illness, he said he would work to provide services to help with medication and treatment.
The “anti-social” group contains people who don’t seek or refuse help, and Bingle says this group needs to be held accountable.
The main focus for Bingle when it comes to criminal justice is helping reintegrate offenders into society after they have served their sentence. He also wants to address overcrowding in the Spokane County Jail.
For more on Bingle’s campaign, visit his campaign website.
Background & Education
Shawn Poole was born and raised in Spokane and graduated from Shadle Park High School and the University of Montana, where he studied sociology and criminal justice.
After getting his degree, he served in the U.S. Army during Desert Storm, joining in 1987 and leaving active duty in 1992 to start a career with the Spokane Fire Department. He went back to the military for a short time starting in 2007 to help handle army deaths in the Middle East.
Poole lists the four main pillars of his campaign as infrastructure, public safety, homelessness and “waste, fraud and abuse in the city.”
Streets represent the main infrastructure focus for Poole, who calls the repair of potholes and general street maintenance a top priority, according to his campaign website.
Poole wants to add more uniformed police officers to city streets and build a dedicated property crimes division within the force. He plans on increasing police resources by cutting funding from other areas, including city hall and other departments. He also wants to cut funding from city hall to provide more resources for the fire department.
Poole takes a somewhat different approach on homelessness than other candidates. He splits the issue into two groups — homeless residents who have fallen on hard times, and transients — the latter of which he says have “very little respect for anything in their community.”
For those he considers to be a part of the homeless resident group, Poole says he wants to increase access to drug and alcohol treatment programs and screening.
As mentioned in most of his campaign ideas, he wants to cut a large chunk of spending from city government by stopping the use of things like city-owned vehicles, electronics, gas payments and other areas he sees as “negligent spending.” If elected, these officials would only spend on things seen as an “absolute necessity.”
More information on Shawn Poole’s campaign can be found on his official website.
Background & Education
Andy Rathbun was born in Indianapolis and moved to the Tri-Cities in 1975 when his dad accepted a position at the Department of Energy's Hanford site. He attended Washington State University and Kansas State University, where he received a degree in physical sciences.
Andy Rathbun spent over three decades in the military, starting when he graduated college, and served in the Washington Air National Guard’s 141st Air Refueling Wing based at Fairchild Air Force Base.
He has also previously served on the West Central Neighborhood Council and the West Central Community Center Board of Directors, according to a press release from his campaign.
Rathbun said he wants to focus his time and listening to feedback in three policy areas: safety, economic development and homelessness.
Rathbun said he voted to support the initiative on last month's special election ballot that gave tax revenue to public safety efforts. He wants the city to focus more on community-oriented policing.
He also said he wants to take politics out of the relationship between city leaders and the police and first responders so they can serve the community quicker and easier.
Rathbun wants to allow small businesses to compete and survive in the face of large companies. He also wants to help economic growth in the real estate and property industries.
He plans on doing this through revisiting existing regulations that he feels hurts tenants when it comes to shopping for affordable housing in Spokane.
Rathbun said he sees the beginnings of policy forming that would help the homeless population in Spokane. He wants to see this policy work with health care agencies, nonprofits and the government to boost the abilities of each to help serve the homeless.
He also said he would like to see this issue further help veterans that struggle to find housing when they end their time in the military.
Background & Education
Chris Schroll graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2015, where he studied international relations. After graduation, he worked in numerous industries in Spokane, including e-commerce, dining and legal recreational marijuana.
Schroll also is a founding member of the Washington Independent Collision Repairers Association and currently works as a marketing coordinator and manager at a family-owned auto repair shop.
Schroll lists homelessness, housing, small business and community growth as the main pillars of his campaign.
For homelessness, Schroll says he plans on creating a “housing first, employment second” method to help those battling homelessness, according to his campaign website. He also wants a full repeal of the city’s sit-lie ordinance.
Schroll plans to fund a study to determine how much affordable housing is needed in Spokane, then creating a community trust program and adjusting multi-family tax exemptions for developers to include affordable housing options.
Rising rent costs is also an area that Schroll wants to address in an effort to help more people find affordable housing.
As for economic growth, Schroll wants to increase wages and create a “new economic plan” for Spokane. He also wants to encourage people to spend their money locally.
Schroll wants to help grow the Spokane community by trying to encourage graduates of local colleges, universities and technical programs to look for employment in the area after they finish their education.
In addition to job growth, Schroll also said he wants to strengthen the local arts, culture and culinary scenes to attract people to stay.
For more on his platform, visit Chris Schroll’s official campaign website.
Background & Education
Ben Stuckart has served as the Spokane City Council President for six years.
He graduated from Gonzaga University before working in the ticketing industry, spending time with the Oakland Raiders and TicketsWest, as well as working for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Before going into politics, Stuckart also began the Communities in Schools of Spokane County nonprofit, which helps students in need in area schools.
Stuckart is focusing on areas such as economic growth, homelessness, criminal justice reform and city government reform.
On criminal justice and public safety reform, Stuckart wants to give more power to the Office of the Police Ombudsman, which provides oversight into city policing. He also wants to consider giving ambulance responsibilities back to the Spokane Fire Department.
Another criminal justice stance he is taking on his website states that he will “resist federal efforts to unconstitutionally preempt local law,” likely a reference to the lack of enforcement of a city ordinance that prevents federal law enforcement agencies, like Border Patrol agents, from boarding buses in the city without a warrant.
Stuckart says he plans on investing more resources in job training and employment programs for residents to fight poverty.
He also wants to partner with business improvement districts and the neighborhood business associations to help local businesses, as well as take a more long-term approach to city planning.
Stuckart said he wants to "decriminalize homelessness" and work to increase low income housing opportunities in the city. To increase these housing opportunities, he plans on establishing a housing fund and offering incentives for landlords to invest in low income housing.
City Government Reform
If elected, Stuckart said his administration would establish an Office of Civil Rights and Labor Standards, which would help enforce non-discrimination laws and look to advance civil rights.
He would also like to partner with the Spokane Civil Service Commission to "increase racial and gender diversity" in government.
For more on his platform, you can visit Ben Stuckart’s official campaign website.
The following are candidates that have not publicly declared for the Spokane Mayoral race, but have openly talked about potentially running for the seat.
The former KREM and KXLY anchor recently retired from broadcasting after a career that spanned over two decades.
Woodward, who ended her run at KXLY on Feb. 28, told The Spokesman-Review that she was considering a run for mayor, but she has not announced a decision.