Skyline of Spokane
Skyline of Spokane (Photo: David Kent, reproduced under a Creative Commons license)

With the first results in the August 2023 Top Two elec­tion hav­ing land­ed, can­di­dates in the crowd­ed dis­trict-lev­el con­tests for Spokane City Coun­cil can now see where they stand — and so can every­one else! Here’s a look at who is most like­ly to be mov­ing on to the gen­er­al elec­tion in November.

District #1

Spokane elects two mem­bers of the coun­cil in each of the three dis­tricts it has. Cur­rent­ly, in Dis­trict #1, the seats are held by incum­bents Michael Cath­cart and Jonathan Bin­gle. Both Cath­cart and Bin­gle are not­ed conservatives.

Bin­gle made waves short­ly after his elec­tion in 2022 for refus­ing to abide by the city’s mask man­dates. Nei­ther of them attract­ed more than one chal­lenger, so they are not on the Top Two ballot.

District #2

In the con­test for Posi­tion #1 in the 2nd Dis­trict, Paul Dil­lon has jumped out to an ear­ly lead, with a plu­ral­i­ty of 41.01% of the vote.

As the Vice Pres­i­dent of Pub­lic Affairs for Planned Par­ent­hood of Wash­ing­ton and Ida­ho, Dil­lon has been a fierce pro­po­nent of repro­duc­tive rights, and has been involved in var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions in Spokane, includ­ing Pedals2People, Spokane Riv­er Clean Up, and Spokane Com­mu­ni­ty Against Racism.

He is also on the board for Greater Spokane Progress and Wash­ing­ton Bus.

Although coun­cil posi­tions are offi­cial­ly “non­par­ti­san,” Dil­lon has been out­spo­ken in acknowl­edg­ing his pro­gres­sive posi­tions. Dur­ing his cam­paign, he has earned the endorse­ments of Andy Bil­lig, Mar­cus Ric­cel­li, Timm Orms­by, and even the out­go­ing incum­bent coun­cilmem­ber, fourth-gen­er­a­tion Spokan­ite Lori Kin­n­ear, who was unan­i­mous­ly con­firmed as City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent in July (and who, inci­den­tal­ly, made his­to­ry as Spokane’s first female Coun­cil Pres­i­dent.)

If elect­ed, Dil­lon hopes to con­tin­ue the work he’s done advo­cat­ing for the home­less, health equi­ty, pub­lic tran­sit, and account­abil­i­ty for law enforcement.

In sec­ond place is Katey Ran­dall Tre­loar with 33.31% of the vote.

A teacher in Spokane pub­lic schools for nine years, Tre­loar has helped found the non-prof­it Bite-2-Go, help­ing hun­gry school­child­ren. She is also a small busi­ness-own­er, the founder of Exec­u­tive Coach­ing LLC, a busi­ness geared towards help­ing neu­ro­di­ver­gent kids over­come bar­ri­ers pre­sent­ed by their disabilities.

She has pre­sent­ed her­self as a non­par­ti­san can­di­date, claim­ing par­ti­san­ship is what has divid­ed our pol­i­tics. Yet despite not embrac­ing par­ti­san pol­i­tics, her endorse­ments have large­ly come from peo­ple who iden­ti­fy as conservative.

In her pri­or run for Spokane Dis­trict Direc­tor in 2019, she advo­cat­ed for armed resource offi­cers in schools and protest­ed COVID safe­ty pro­to­cols. She earned an endorse­ment from the Spokane Police Guild, a red flag to pro­gres­sive activists.

In third place is Cyn­di Don­ahue, with 17.17% of the vote. Don­ahue is a small busi­ness own­er with plen­ty of expe­ri­ence in busi­ness and com­mu­ni­ty lead­er­ship. She cre­at­ed a pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment series “Ampli­fy­ing Women’s Voic­es,” work­ing for non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion Ignite North­west, and cur­rent­ly serves on the Down­town Spokane Part­ner­ship Busi­ness Improve­ment Board.

Like Dil­lon, she has endorsed Lisa Brown over Nadine Wood­ward for mayor.

She has been endorsed by the Spokane Democ­rats and the Nation­al Women’s Polit­i­cal Cau­cus of Wash­ing­ton, and, if elect­ed, hopes to work on cre­at­ing walk­a­ble neigh­bor­hoods, find­ing solu­tions for home­less­ness, and part­ner­ing with region­al builders to help build afford­able housing.

In fourth place is Mike Nac­cara­to, a pur­chas­er for a ship­ping con­tain­er com­pa­ny, who is new to pol­i­tics. He has 8.26% of the vote.

He has empha­sized acces­si­ble men­tal health ser­vices, sta­ble hous­ing, increased law enforce­ment pres­ence, and tar­get­ing prop­er­ty crime as plat­form planks.

Wor­thy of note has been his tight-lipped respons­es to ques­tions about how he would approach expand­ing ombuds­man over­sight pow­ers. He has stat­ed he wants to “see how things play out first.” He favors boost­ing fund­ing for law enforcement.

The most like­ly matchup for the gen­er­al elec­tion is Dil­lon ver­sus Ran­dall Treloar.

District #3

The 3rd Dis­trict has a big group of can­di­dates with a wide range of back­grounds, com­mu­ni­ty involve­ment, ide­olo­gies, and polit­i­cal experience.

In first place tonight is Kit­ty Klitzke, with 36.16% of the vote.

Klitzke has a long his­to­ry in pol­i­cy work. She is a for­mer Army reserve medic and Ameri­corp work­er, and worked for more than a decade with Future­wise, a non­prof­it ded­i­cat­ed to cre­at­ing sus­tain­able liv­ing com­mu­ni­ties. Among her pri­or­i­ties are cre­at­ing a com­pre­hen­sive devel­op­ment plan for Spokane and con­tin­u­ing her work in envi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­i­ty. She cites cre­at­ing tran­sit infra­struc­ture along­side new hous­ing as a core need for Spokane.

In sec­ond place is Earl Moore, who has 21.58% of the vote.

Moore is a precinct com­mit­tee offi­cer for the Spokane Coun­ty Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee. Moore dif­fers from her oppo­nents in that she believes the police are being unfair­ly tar­get­ed by calls for inves­ti­ga­tion into the police chief’s behav­iors. Indeed, her vocal sup­port for the police appears to be one of her pri­ma­ry plat­form planks — she has spo­ken out against the city council’s deci­sion regard­ing the ombudsman’s abil­i­ty to inves­ti­gate the police chief.

Her cam­paign has received con­sid­er­able dona­tions from groups that usu­al­ly sup­port Repub­li­cans, as well as the Wash­ing­ton Asso­ci­a­tion of Realtors.

In third place is Christo­pher Sav­age, a life­long Spokan­ite, cur­rent board pres­i­dent for Spokane Meals on Wheels, and ware­house man­ag­er at Project Beau­ty Share, a non­prof­it pro­vid­ing make­up and hygiene prod­ucts to low-income people.

Sav­age has 17.43% of the ini­tial vote.

This isn’t his first bid for office in the Lilac City. Sav­age has run for Spokane City Coun­cil three times before, and is a reg­u­lar at city coun­cil meet­ings. He agrees with Moore that the inves­ti­ga­tion against Mei­dl is a “witch hunt.” He has also earned the endorse­ments of local Repub­li­cans like Mike Fagan and Bob Apple.

In fourth place is Este­ban Here­via, who has 15.51% of the vote.

Here­via has served as Pres­i­dent and CEO of Spokane Pride, help­ing lead the largest Pride cel­e­bra­tion in Spokane’s his­to­ry, an event that drew over 50,000 peo­ple. He cur­rent­ly serves as the Strate­gist for Health Jus­tice and Belong­ing at Wash­ing­ton State University’s Col­lege of Med­i­cine at their Spokane campus.

His plat­form planks are root­ed in pro­gres­sive val­ues. He believes in region­al solu­tions to home­less­ness, police account­abil­i­ty mea­sures, and rolling back poli­cies such as the “Parks After Dark” ordi­nance, which unfair­ly crim­i­nal­izes home­less­ness. He earned the endorse­ments of the Spokane Coun­ty Young Democ­rats, Wash­ing­ton Con­ser­va­tion Action, and the LGBTQ+ Vic­to­ry Fund.

In fifth place is Dar­ren McCrea, with 4.45% of the vote.

McCrea’s cam­paign was mem­o­rable, owing to his use of imagery from Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, and phras­es such as “With respect and ded­i­ca­tion, I’ll rep the pop­u­la­tion.” McCrea is a mem­ber of the Colville Con­fed­er­at­ed Tribes, and is a long-time cannabis activist. He opened SpoCannabis, the first med­ical mar­i­jua­na dis­pen­sary in East­ern Wash­ing­ton, in 2003. He advo­cates for the legal­iza­tion of psilo­cy­bin, as well. Like the Dr. Seuss char­ac­ter, McCrea cares about our trees. He is a pro­po­nent for city mea­sures to mit­i­gate cli­mate dam­age and for­ti­fy local forests. McCrea, to date, hasn’t report­ed rais­ing any money.

In sixth place, with 4.32% of the vote, is Randy McGlenn, a for­mer chair of the Lib­er­tar­i­an Par­ty of Wash­ing­ton. McGlenn is cur­rent­ly com­mu­ni­ty assem­bly rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the West Cen­tral Neigh­bor­hood Council.

Oth­er posi­tions he has held include act­ing as Chair of the East Cen­tral Neigh­bor­hood Coun­cil, Chair of the Com­mu­ni­ty Assem­bly Admin­is­tra­tive Com­mit­tee, and Chair of the Cit­i­zens’ Trans­porta­tion Advi­so­ry Board. McGlenn has empha­sized address­ing prop­er­ty crime, eco­nom­ic growth, and homelessness.

It’s look­ing like it will be Moore ver­sus Klitzke this autumn. Klitzke’s first place posi­tion is secure. Sav­age and Here­via are hun­dreds of votes out of sec­ond place and it would be dif­fi­cult for either of them to catch up to Moore.

The key issues facing Spokane

Times are chang­ing for the Lilac City, and the city’s dis­course reflects that.

Spokane is the sec­ond largest city in Wash­ing­ton. Accord­ing to data from the 2020 Cen­sus Bureau, Spokane’s pop­u­la­tion grew by near­ly 15% since 2010.

Spokane has, in some ways, always felt like it was try­ing to be Seat­tle or Portland’s younger sib­ling – imi­tat­ing their aes­thet­ics and lifestyles, but with few­er peo­ple and few­er cul­tur­al insti­tu­tions. The boom, it seems, has final­ly arrived.

But that doesn’t mean Spokane has been pre­pared for growth. Hous­ing and rental devel­op­ment has lagged behind the influx of people.

In 2021, Spokane had a 1.1% apart­ment vacan­cy rate, mak­ing apart­ment hunt­ing a nerve-wrack­ing affair for the aver­age cit­i­zen. For those with­out hous­ing, there are sim­ply not enough shel­ter beds to meet the com­mu­ni­ty’s needs.

Pub­lic safe­ty is also a con­cern. Spokane’s prop­er­ty crime rate rose near­ly 30% in 2022. At the same time, the city has strug­gled to address prob­lems with its police force. Police Chief Craig Mei­dl has been accused of inap­pro­pri­ate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, prompt­ing the Coun­cil to autho­rize the ombuds­man to inves­ti­gate his con­duct.

Who­ev­er is elect­ed to gov­ern Spokane this year will play a deci­sive role in deter­min­ing the direc­tion the city takes through the remain­der of the 2020s.

About the author

Caya is a Northwest Progressive Institute contributor based out of Spokane, Washington, writing about Lilac City politics, the Evergreen State's 5th Congressional District, and related politics. She previously hosted the inaugural episodes of NPI's PNWcurrents podcast. She works at the Unemployment Law Project and is a graduate of Central Washington University, with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts and sciences. Caya also has a minor from CWU in law and justice.

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