SPOKANE, Wash. - New numbers show Cindy Wendle has extended her lead, just slightly, over opponent Breean Beggs in the race to replace Ben Stuckart as city council president -- but the race is still too close to call.
The second waves of results shows Wendle increased the difference between her and Beggs by 67 votes, so she now leads Beggs by 851 votes.
"My gut told me it was gonna be a close race, but I think it's about where, really where my gut was -- is that, it's gonna be close, but I was encouraged," Wendle said. "Because a lot of people were looking for something different."
The race for council president has had a similar landscape to Spokane's mayoral race -- pitting someone with years of experience in city government against someone with no political experience. Whoever wins this race, though, will have to bridge the gap between city council and the mayor's office.
"With Mayor Condon, we get along on 95% of the issues," Beggs said on election night. "There's only a few things we haven't."
Condon and Stuckart have been at the helm for the last eight years and in the last few, there's been a lot of back and forth. Beggs and the council have passed some major ordinances, only to have Condon veto them. The council often overrides those vetoes, but Condon has been slow to implement their changes.
Over the years, that has included calls for a climate action plan, an open City Hall and most recently, a 24/7 shelter. Those debates will likely continue, no matter who is elected council president -- but there may be more tension between Beggs and Woodward, should he win. Wendle and Woodward were both endorsed by Condon this election.
If Wendle wins the seat, she and Beggs will actually be working together on city council.
"I have two more years in my regular term and I can run again," Beggs said. "We're gonna have at least five people who are pretty like-minded and really people-oriented in the city, so I'm looking forward to continuing our agenda that we've had."
Election results won't be certified until Nov. 26.
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