Council 2 logo

Winter 2013-14

Savoring sweet success in Spokane

by County and City Employee staff on January 9, 2014
IT WAS an election victory to savor. In spite of a potentially strong force assembled against them, pro-labor forces won a clean sweep in the elections for the Spokane City Council in November. And the opposition helped them achieve it.

When campaigning for the election began, outright victory seemed difficult to achieve. All three pro-labor candidates needed to win to form a majority on the city council. Yet for the opposing forces to gain a majority on the council only one of their candidates needed to win.
The odds seemed stacked against the pro-labor candidates.
But by the time election day arrived, the opposition had crumbled.
To appreciate what happened, here’s a look at each race.
• Incumbent Amber Waldref faced a candidate, recruited by anti-labor forces, who did not live in the district.
In an attempt to act as though he did, the candidate used a vacant condemned house as his address. When Waldref’s campaigners realized what he was doing they lodged an objection in court.
The complaint was upheld and the judge removed the candidate’s name from the ballot.
At that time, it was too late for another candidate to step in. As a result, Waldref was elected unopposed.
• In another district, Jon Snyder faced John Ahern, a former state representative, who faced opposition from within his own ranks as he was considered to be a weak candidate who was past his political prime.
Just how weak was shown when Snyder won by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. The anti-labor forces had suffered a second self-inflicted wound.
• The third pro-labor candidate, Candace Mumm, ran a strong campaign and handily beat Michael Cannon.
“We needed all three. And we won all three,” says Council 2 Deputy Director Pat Thompson.
“When it was all over the margins were great and represented a clear victory for pro-labor candidates.”
This victory was important to Spokane citizens, says Jim Tieken, secretary-treasurer of Local 270, which represents City of Spokane employees.
He notes that a lot more support and money came in after the anti-labor politicians bashed the unions for nothing more than that they were unions.
“That solidified the opposition to them,” he adds.
Candace Mumm Jon Snyder
Amber Waldref

Murray wins in Seattle

Another success was recorded in Seattle where Ed Murray — who was endorsed by Council 2 — was elected the new mayor.