The Easterner’s local elections guide

Republican Mike Volz (left) and Democrat Kay Murano (right) are both running for a seat in Washingtons state House in 2018. Volz has held the position since 2016.

Courtesy of The Spokesman-Review

Republican Mike Volz (left) and Democrat Kay Murano (right) are both running for a seat in Washington’s state House in 2018. Volz has held the position since 2016.

By Karlee Van De Venter, Arts and Features Editor

In a national election year, it’s easy to forget about local elections. Residents of Cheney have legislative, judicial and county races to vote in. The Easterner collected information about each candidate and links for more details. 


Legislative District Six 

State Representative, Position One

Mike Volz

EWU Alumni

Party affiliation: Republican

Experience: Previously elected as District Six state representative, chief deputy treasurer at Spokane County

Military: Former police officer in the U.S. Navy

College education: Bachelor’s in accounting and finance from EWU, master’s in business administration from Gonzaga University 

Key ideas: Strong proponent of fiscal responsibility and opposes tax increases

Website: and 

Zack Zappone

Party affiliation: Democrat 

Experience: No elected experience

College education: Bachelor’s in American studies from Georgetown University, master’s in public affairs from Princeton University and teaching certificate from University of Washington

Key ideas: Expanding healthcare, improving transportation and representing working families, rooted in fiscal responsibility 


State Representative, Position Two 

Jenny Graham

Party affiliation: Republican

Experience: Previously elected as District Six state representative 

Military: Army Reserves veteran 

College education: Nash Beauty College graduate 

Key ideas: Invest in schools and mental health, opposed to tax increases

Website: and 

Tom McGarry

Party affiliation: Democrat 

Experience: Elected twice as fire commissioner and board chair of Spokane County Fire 

Protection District Nine, over 30 years as a lawyer 

College education: Bachelor’s in social work and bachelor’s in science from University 

of Wyoming, J.D. from Gonzaga School of Law 

Key ideas: Protect public education, small businesses, first responders, frontline 

healthcare and grocery workers 



Supreme Court 

Justice Position Three 

Dave Larson 

Experience: 23 years as attorney, 12 years as judge 

Career: Serves on Legislative, Therapeutic Courts, Public Trust and Confidence Committees, Civic Learning Council, and Council on Independent Courts

Awards: Judge William Nevins Award for civics education and DMCJA President’s Award for protecting judicial independence 

Education: Bachelor’s in public administration from University of Puget Sound, J.D. from Seattle University School of Law 

Key ideas: Reduce domestic violence, combat drug addiction and serve the mentally ill


Raquel Montoya-Lewis 

Experience: State Supreme Court justice for 20 years, previously at Whatcom County 

Superior Court and for Lummi Nation, Upper Skagit and Nooksack tribes 

Career: Served on Washington State Advisory Group, Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice, Family Violence Advisory Board for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges 

Awards: First Native American Justice in Washington

Education: Bachelor’s in English from University of New Mexico, master’s in social work from University of Washington School of Social Work and J.D. from University of Washington School of Law

Key ideas: Apply laws without bias, ensure victims are heard and supported, and restore young lives


Justice Position 4

Charles W. Johnson 

Experience: Served on Washington State Supreme Court since Jan. 1991

Career: Washington State Labor Council, Washington Council of Firefighters,

Washington State Supreme Court Rules Committee, Board of Directors of the Washington Association for Children and Parents

Awards: Longest serving justice currently on the court, Washington State Bar

 Association’s William O. Douglas Award, John J. McAuley Legal Educator Award

Education: Bachelor’s from University of Washington and J.D. from Seattle University 

School of Law

Key ideas: Education and opportunity, protecting privacy rights and holding government accountable. 


Justice Position 6

Richard S. Serns 

EWU Alumni

Experience: No elected experience 

Career: Legal, human resources and teaching experience

Education: Master’s in school administration, from Walla Walla University, Graduate 

school at EWU, Ph.D from University of Oregon and J.D. from University of Washington 

School of Law 

Key ideas: Passion for justice and supporting our children 


Helen Whitener 

Experience: Appointed by Gov. Inslee to Washington Supreme Court April 2020, more 

than 21 years of legal experience 

Career: Co-chair of the Washington State Minority and Justice Commission 

Awards: International Association of LGBTQ Judges President Award and State Bar

 Association’s C.Z. Smith Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award

Education: Bachelor’s in business administration and international marketing from 

Baruch College CUNY and J.D. from Seattle University School of Law 

Key ideas: Commitment to justice and equality, fairness before all parties 


Justice Position 7

Debra L. Stephens 

Experience: Supreme Court Justice since 2008 

Career: Conference of Chief Justices Rapid Response Team for Covid Recovery, National

Association Of Women Judges Judicial Independence Committee

Awards: First woman from Eastern Washington to serve on the Washington State

Supreme Court 

Education: Bachelor’s in arts from Gonzaga University and J.D. from Gonzaga 


Key ideas: Implement new protocols for remote court hearings, safe courthouse 

operations and protection of public safety and protect the rights of the accused and 




Court of Appeals, Division 3, District 1 

Judge Position 2

Marshall Casey 

EWU Alumni

Experience: Practicing attorney for ten years 

Career: Board of Governors for the Washington State Association of Justice

Education: Bachelor’s in economics from EWU, J.D. from University of Louisville

Key ideas: Respect the constitution, the people’s voices, the jury and the people seeking justice


Tracy Arlene Staab 

Experience: 16 years as an attorney, 11 years as Spokane Municipal Court Judge

Career: Washington State Pattern Forms Committee, Courts of Limited Jurisdiction


Education: Bachelor’s in paralegal studies from Western Washington University and J.D. 

from Seattle University School of Law 

Key ideas: Develop programs that address underlying causes of criminal behavior




County Commissioner District 1 

Josh Kerns 

Party affiliation: Republican 

Experience: Elected County commissioner in 2016, Precinct Committee officer

Education: Bachelor’s in business management from Whitworth University and master’s 

in business administration from Whitworth University 

Key ideas: Supporting public safety and law enforcement and opposing raising taxes


Ted Cummings

Party affiliation: Democrat

Experience: Executive board member of the Spokane Regional Labor Council and

 District vice president Washington Labor Council 

College education: Associate’s from Spokane Community College 

Key ideas: Respecting and valuing every citizen, science and data, and free press 


County Commissioner District 2 

Mary Kuney 

Party affiliation: Republican

Experience: Spokane county commissioner since 2017, City of Spokane Internal Audit

Committee, Washington State Society of CPA’s Government Accounting and Auditing Committee 

College education: Bachelor’s in accounting from Gonzaga University 

Key ideas: Protect the public, grow the economy and maintain our infrastructure 


David Green

Party affiliation: Democrat 

Experience: Spokane Estate Planning Council

College education: Bachelor’s in international economics from Georgetown University, 

J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, Graduate law degree in taxation from 

Georgetown Law Center 

Key ideas: Prioritize people over business, serving the needs of everyday people 



Washington state residents can register online or by mail until Oct. 26. Residents can register in person until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. Ballots must be turned in on Election Day. Here is a list of ballot boxes in Spokane County. The Easterner will continue providing more election updates and information.