Most recent mayoral debate begins with candidate compliments

With the November election just five weeks away, the Spokane mayoral race is intensifying.

In a televised debate on Friday, candidates Ben Stuckart and Nadine Woodward talked about important issues impacting Spokane and its citizens… even taking a second to compliment each other.

“Ben Stuckart loves the city of Spokane and has a passion for the city and comes from a family with great legacy,” said Woodward.

“Being on the news every night for 27 years, she is a trusted figure in our community and I admire her a lot and just respect the heck out of her,” Stuckart chimed in.

Managing Washington’s second largest city comes with plenty of challenges. Perhaps one of the most complex is Spokane’s homeless crisis.

Woodward says she doesn’t support spending millions of dollars on a new shelter.

“The difference between Ben and myself is we are going to shepherd people along but we’re going to require accountability and we’re not going to enable any longer,” said Woodward. “We have programs that enable.”

To Stuckart, providing shelter service in Spokane is a necessity.

“If we don’t have shelters, Martin V. Boise is clear that you can’t enforce the no camping ordinance, so Riverfront Park will become a giant campground if we don’t have shelters, and that’s just a fact.”

Stuckart and Woodward were also asked to talk about their own leadership style and how it would help them in office.

“I like to get a lot done,” said Stuckart. “Sometimes I get impatient and that I’m very direct, but I’m also very collaborative.”

“I think the skill set of a journalist plays well into a number of roles of leadership and management,” said Woodward.

Both candidates will be sharing the stage again on Saturday for another debate, beginning at 10 a.m. at the East Central Community Center.