Voters’ Guides and Tips

Your Ballot Is in the Mail

Ballots in Washington State for the Tuesday, November 7th, Election should appear in your mailbox by tomorrow, Saturday, October 21st, or at the latest by early next week. These are the “non-partisan” municipal and school board elections with a few ballot measures sprinkled in—just the sort of off year election that historically garners little attention and low voter turnout. Don’t let that happen this year. Thanks to Republican culture war operatives, think Christopher Rufo (anti-“CRT” and DEI) and Steve Bannon (the “Precinct Strategy”), the future of public education is at stake—as is control of many local governments.

Doing your homework, filling out your ballot, and turning it in this weekend has many advantages, including these: closer to the election deadline you won’t be wondering where you put your ballot—and the sooner you submit your ballot the fewer pesky phone calls you’ll receive urging you to vote. (The fact that your ballot was received, but NOT for whom you voted, is public knowledge.)

These odd-numbered year elections are nominally “non-partisan”, so we don’t have “Prefers _______ Party” following each candidate’s name for orientation, something some ideological candidates seek to exploit. (For example, Katey Treloar, candidate for City of Spokane City Council District 2 [South Hill], fields blue campaign signs that proclaim “supported by Democrats and Republicans” while she raises record amounts of money from Republican interest groups and the endorsing “Democrats” are never identified.]

My go-to voters’ guide is the powered by FUSE Washington. I encourage you to read FUSE’s well-considered recommendations. The only problem I find with The Progressive Voters Guide is that it doesn’t go all the way down ballot to those extremely important (especially this year) school board races. It also misses some important municipal races among the smaller cities and towns. (See below for recommendations in many of those local races.)

Ballot Measures

I will vote NO on the City of Spokane’s Proposition 1 for reasons I detailed here. Proposition 1 pretends to “protect children” by establishing an unworkable anti-camping law based on a 1000 radius from “any public or private school, public park, playground, or licensed child care facility”. Those radii cover more than 60% of ground area of the city, guaranteeing an expensive court battle paid for with our tax dollars. Furthermore, neither potential homeless campers nor the police charged with enforcement will have any clarity on the boundaries. 

I will also vote NO on Spokane County’s Measure 1. Measure 1 was put on the ballot as a last ditch effort by County Commissioners Al French and Josh Kerns a month before the Commission expanded from three to five members. Measure 1 pretends to raise money for a broad range of criminal justice efforts—but, since the specifics are slim, the likelihood is that the majority of the money will go to doubling the capacity of the County jail. Note that nearly all of the people incarcerated in the county jail system are people accused of crimes and unable to make bail, not convicted criminals serving court ordered sentences. On that observation alone it seems that the money would be better spent on bail reform and efforts to speed up the court system. Measure 1 increases the sales tax, a notably regressive tax (putting the greater burden on those who can least afford it), without clearly delineating how the money will be spent. Vote NO. Later, I will gladly support a tax to fund a clearer plan. Measure 1 is a blank check. I’m reminded of “If you build it, they will come [they will fill it]” when contemplating additional jail cells. 

School Boards

School board races are particularly fraught—and often challenging to research. The recommendations listed below for many of the school board contests in eastern Washington were assembled from a variety of sources by public school advocates led by Petra Hoy. Much effort was made to screen out candidates whose rhetoric and endorsements suggested sentiments derived from the right wing culture war issues of “liberal indoctrination”, “CRT”, “DEI”, book bans, so-called “parental rights”, anti-sex ed, and opposition to the state level Covid pandemic rules. Much of this encapsulates the agenda of “Moms For Liberty”, a right wing astroturf group designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Keep to the high ground,


Spokane County Candidates 2023

City of Spokane

Mayor: Lisa Brown Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 10.8.2023

Spokane City Council 

President: Betsy WilkersonVoters Guide  Spokesman Review 10.11.2023

District 1: Lindsey Shaw  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.29.2023

District 2: Paul Dillon Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.25.2023

District 3: Kitty Klitzke Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.18.2023

Cheney City Council

Position 2: Rebecca Long  Voters Guide Spokesman Review 10.10.2023

Position 6: Jacquelyn Belock  Voters Guide Spokesman Review 10.10.2023

City of Liberty Lake

Mayor: Cris Kaminskas  Voters Guide

Liberty Lake City Council

Position 1: Linda M Ball  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.15.2023

Position 3: Dan Dunne   Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 8.25.2023

Position 4: Travis Scott  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 10.10.2023

Position 5:  Annie Kurtz Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.21.2023

Position 6: Michael Hamblet  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.20.2023

Position 7: Teresa Tapao-Hunt  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.12.2023

Spokane Valley City Council

Position 6: Tim Hattenburg  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 2023  Spokesman Review 6.4.23  Spokesman Review 9.17.2023

Spokane Valley Fire Department

Commissioner #5: George Orr  Voters Guide  

Spokane County Water District 

Commissioner #3:  Mary Wissink Voters Guide


Central Valley School District 

Director, District 1: Cindy McMullen  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.11.2023

Director, District 3: Debra L Long  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.24.2023

Director, District 4: Keith Clark  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.20.2023

Cheney School District

Director, District 2:   Elizabeth Winer  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 10.9.2023

Director, District 3:  Henry C. Browne Jr.  Voters Guide  

Director District 4:  John Boerger Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.29.2023

Director District 5:  Mitch Swenson  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.30.2023

Mead School Board 

District 2:  Denny Denholm Voters Guide Spokesman Review 9.10.2023  Spokesman Review 9.28.2023

District 3: Jaime Stacy Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.18.2023

District 4:  David Knaggs Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.10.2023

Spokane School Board District 81

Director Position 5:  Mike Wiser  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 2023 Spokesman Review 9.26.2023

Nine Mile Falls School District

Director Position 3:  Kirsten Foose  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.23.2023

Medical Lake School District

District 2:  Alexis Alexander  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 10.6.2023

District 3:  Laura Elliot Parsons  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 10.4.2023

District 4:  Ron Cooper Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.26.2023

Deer Park School District

District 5  Eric Keller  Voters Guide  Spokesman Review 9.22.2023



District 3 Jim Cannon Voters Guide


Director At Large #4  Thomas (Chip) Johnson  Voters Guide


Kennewick School District 17

Director 3 Michael Connors Voters Guide

Director 5  Lisa Peppard  Voters Guide

Richland School District 400

Director No. 3  Chelsie Beck  Voters Guide

Director Nol 4   Katrina Waters Voters Guide

Director No. 5  Jill Oldson  Voters Guide



Director District #2  Aurora Flores  Voters Guide



Director, District 3  Maria Antonia R. Erickson  Voters Guide