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Spokane County Commissioner District No. 1

The board of county commissioners is the legislative authority for the county in the 33 noncharter counties. The commissioners serve as the chief administrators for most county operations.

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  • Candidate picture

    Chris Jordan

  • Candidate picture

    Kim Plese

Biographical Information

What is your record of public service?

How do you view balancing development with protecting our natural resources?

How should your county assist the homeless and economically disadvantaged?

What do you think are the most important environmental issues your county will face due to the changing climate?

How would you address the issues surrounding your county’s infrastructure?

How do you assess your county’s ability to address any issues surrounding racial inequities?

What should your county be doing to prepare for any crisis such as COVID-19?

Party Preference Democratic Party
Phone (509) 530-1298
Experience (Max 500 characters) Managing Attorney - Washington State Attorney General’s Office (Spokane Division), protecting vulnerable children; Project Fellow - Columbia Legal Services, led campaign to pass bipartisan law helping homeless schoolchildren and families; Governor’s Appointee - UW Board of Regents, advocated for college affordability; Climate Conference Organizer - Spokane Mayor’s Office. Union member. Mead Schools graduate.
Campaign Mailing Address PO BOX 8799
Campaign Phone (509)530-1298
Town where you live Spokane
6 years’ service as a state attorney focused on child safety cases. Managing Attorney with Attorney General’s Office. Spokane County Juvenile Court Improvement Committee member. Governor’s Appointee on university Board of Regents who pushed legislators to freeze public college tuition and voted against student housing rate increase. Led bipartisan coalition to pass a new law helping homeless schoolchildren. Government internships with Spokane Mayor’s Office and U.S. Senator Patty Murray. Volunteer at St. Andrew's Church and Spokane River Cleanup.
Spokane’s natural beauty is part of what makes this place special and provides great quality of life for residents – our lakes, beautiful river, and nearby trails. My wife and I frequently hike Spokane County trails and I support the Conservations Futures program and would like to explore expanding it. At the same time, we face a housing crisis and need to grow in a smart way that both protects our quality of life while expanding affordable housing options, more middle housing options such as town homes – and focuses on growing our housing stock around infrastructure and transit access. Walkable, livable neighborhoods are good for businesses, taxpayers, and the environment. Let’s do the necessary planning work to grow smartly in a way that is healthy for the environment and that meets our urgent need for more affordable housing options for residents.
We can create a region where our middle class is strong and every family has a chance to build a secure life of dignity, and to thrive. The County can expand apprenticeships to build a pipeline to good paying jobs in the trades to meet the needs of both workers and businesses. The County should also invest in stabilizing our child care centers and making child care more affordable for families – this is both an economic issue and a child safety issue. As a union member myself, I’ll be a reliable voice for working people.

Spokane County needs determined, regional leadership to address homelessness. Our homelessness response system should be data-driven and utilize best practices that are working in other cities – such as peer support outreach workers to connect those on the streets with life-changing resources. We also need to make drug and mental health treatment more accessible, and expand affordable housing options to ease the pressure on housing prices.
It’s past time to take climate change seriously and Spokane County should be leading the way. Climate change is already impacting us in the West with more severe fire seasons, suffocating smoke, and residents suffering from extreme heat. I’m a 4th generation Spokanite who grew up spending my childhood summers outdoors on “the lake” in the Inland Northwest. Our fire seasons are growing ominously more severe and longtime residents know it. We need to ensure adequate cooling shelters are available during heat waves so our most vulnerable residents – who may lack access to air conditioning – can escape the extreme heat. The County should hire a sustainability manager and engage the community to craft a climate action and resilience plan that prepares our region to adapt to the impacts of climate change and helps guide us to a more sustainable future.
I am thankful to President Biden’s leadership in passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. We need to work with partners at all levels of government to ensure Spokane County receives its share of projects from this once-in-a-generation federal investment in transit, clean drinking water, electric vehicle charging stations, airports, roads, bridges, and more. Voters should remember that the majority of Republican politicians in Congress voted against upgrading our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. We need to work together with unions and businesses to build a well trained workforce capable of meeting our infrastructure needs so these benefits stay in the local economy and support good-paying jobs right here. I’m proud to be endorsed by the Spokane Regional Labor Council.
I respect for the vast majority of law enforcement officers who are doing the best they can to protect our community. I have worked with law enforcement to protect children and have seen only excellence and dedication. However, it’s important to acknowledge the real and painful disparities in our systems and to understand that “systemic racism” is not necessarily intentional - it's about results. We know studies show Black folks and white folks in our country use drugs at similar rates, yet Black people are criminally charged at three times the rate – that’s a systemic injustice. I read a statistic that said Black people in Spokane are about six times more likely to be incarcerated than white people. No one can look at a number that like and say that’s “good enough.” It is not good enough. I want to work together with law enforcement and the community to improve equitable outcomes while maintaining public safety – yet our County has repeatedly dragged its feet on common sense reforms.
We can stop the politicization of science, first of all, and speak out against baseless, harmful conspiracy theories, such as those that were spread during the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to rebuild trust in our Health Board, which has been undermined by misguided County decisions. We need more medical expertise on our Health Board, including a medical doctor. That’s just common sense. We also need to rebuild the capacity of the Health District, which is tasked with leading our local response to pandemics like COVID-19.
Party Preference Republican
Phone (509) 953-2355
Experience (Max 500 characters) No previous political experience. Business Owner in Spokane for 32 years. Past President of the Board of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Spokane County & Past President of the Spokane Chapter of Executive Women International.
Campaign Mailing Address PO BOX 9685
Campaign Phone 509-953-2355
Town where you live Spokane
Past President of the Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Spokane, Past President of Executive Women International-Spokane Chapter which proudly offers 2 educational scholarships every year. (EWISP and ASIST). Leadership Spokane graduate.
We are lucky to have beautiful and abundant natural resources in Spokane County and we should be protective of that. In my district, we already have more density than most of the County, and most of District 1 is under the purview of the City of Spokane when it comes to development, not the County. Voters in Spokane established the Spokane County Conservation District Futures Program to purchase and protect natural areas for conservation. I do believe we need to protect the natural beauty of Spokane, while also addressing the housing crisis that is pricing people out of our community with reasonable development that balances these priorities.
We need to ensure behavioral and mental health challenges are being addressed and we need to provide a path forward for those in need. Spokane County does and should continue to work with regional partners, other municipalities and service providers to assist those who are homeless in our community and better connect them with services. As a business owner in Spokane for over 32 years, I know that supporting local businesses and more economic development opportunities for all is imperative for people to thrive in our community.
Keeping the Spokane River clean for its ecological health, as well as for recreational and sporting uses is a top environmental priority. The County runs a water reclamation facility that helps to ensure that our water quality remains high. The Regional Water Reclamation Facility has been nationally recognized for its quality. I will ensure the County continues to keep our river an aquifer clean.
Along with public safety, proper infrastructure is one of the paramount duties of County government. The majority of my district is within the City of Spokane, so those roads are maintained by the City, rather than the County. For those areas in my District that are in the County, I will ensure that they are properly maintained and preserved with the funds the County receives with the County Road Tax from the State and from the General Fund as needed.
Spokane County has over 2,000 employees, and as an employer, we must have policies, procedures and programs in place to eliminate racial disparities! I also believe there are racial disparities within the County's criminal justice system. It's a result of the Legislative setting the mandates for guidelines for sentencing. I believe we need an additional judge on the Superior Court bench to more efficiently process cases faster.
The COVID -19 pandemic was an unprecedented crisis for not only Spokane County but the entire world. I believe that local control can be more responsive to our community needs should a similar crisis occur. The one size fits all mandates coming out of Olympia didn't work for every community, including Spokane. We should be prepared to provide residents and businesses with the information and tools necessary to keep everyone safe. As a business owner who had to understand those mandates while keeping my business going and keeping my employees and clients safe.