SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart announced Friday his candidacy for Spokane mayor in 2019. The announcement came inside of the old McKinley School building which is currently undergoing a renovation, thanks to Stuckart.
"This investment is happening right now in the heart of our targeted investment areas that I helped create," said Stuckart.
This is the second time Stuckart has declared candidacy for the position, and his third run for an elected position in two years. He dropped his last run for mayor after he began running for Congress in 2017. He later dropped that run, citing family concerns.
Spokane Mayor David Condon is term-limited, just like Stuckart is with his current City Council position.
"Spokane is primed and ready for a progressive step forward," Stuckart says.
As City Council President, Stuckart has a unique position in accepting responsibility for the current state of the city, which includes its successes and its shortfalls, the worst of which is housing, according to him.
"We need more housing and we need it now," he said.
The self-described flawed candidate says he's voted for things he regrets, like the basalt stones that were put down under I-90 to detract the homeless. Stuckart, however, says he's still the guy for the job.
"I am what I am," he said. "The founder of a local non-profit, former manager of a local ticket business Spokane through and through. I want to serve as a trusted leader for the city employees out there catching bad guys, putting out fires, and filling our potholes."
In kicking off his campaign, he called for more police and more firefighters, saying he'd get voters to approve city spending increases. He hopes to attract more people and businesses to Spokane in order to grow the tax base.
If voted in, Stuckart says he wants to lead the Lilac City into being not a new Portland, not a new Seattle, but a new Spokane.
"If you think the status quo is fine, don't vote for me," Stuckart said. "If you think it's all hunky dory, don't vote for me."