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Latest updates from the campaign:

Saturday, October 1, 2022 5:42 PM

Watch: Maggie Yates Debate Al French about the future of Spokane County

Maggie's debate with Al French emphasized the high stakes of the upcoming local election on November 8. The issues discussed range from our court system  and public safety to homelessness. childcare, public health, and our partnership with local tribes.

Friday, September 9, 2022 5:52 PM

News Release: Al French Ducks Upcoming County Commissioner Candidate Forum


(Spokane, WA) – With more than two months until the general election, Al French, the incumbent for Spokane County Commissioner’s fifth district, could not find an hour to attend the League of Women Voters candidate forum with his challenger, Maggie Yates.

The League of Women Voters, which organizes forums between qualifying candidates, notified Yates on September 1 that “we were unfortunately unable to schedule the other candidate for
your office.”

Friday, September 9, 2022 5:49 PM

Maggie Yates' new vision

Recently a supporter of Maggie teamed up to wrote an LTE in the Spokesman Review. Read it here:

"Al French started his political career in 2001 when I was 11. I’m 32 years old now and while I have chosen to make my future in Spokane, I know that Al French does not represent what our county can achieve and deserves. His ideas are stale and outdated for our current moment of civic strife, persistent inequities and rising costs. We need a new vision for Spokane County. We need public servants who will work on the community issues that will determine our next 20 years: sustainability, community safety and economic opportunity. It is critical my generation recognize the opportunity we have to shape our future in November’s local election.

Maggie Yates brings fresh leadership, hard-earned experience and a vision for a future in Spokane County where all our families can thrive. Maggie is here for the community. Not only has Maggie been an active participant in the betterment of our community for years, but I can attest to her courage and integrity and know she is the right person for this role. I have known Maggie and her family since moving to Spokane in 2000. Maggie is committed to making decisions that support healthy families, promote government accountability and transparency, restore trust, expand economic opportunity, embrace sustainable growth and ensure an equitable and healthy future for Spokane County!

I am confident that Maggie will represent us well. Join me this November in casting a ballot for a brighter future. Vote Maggie Yates for County Commissioner, District 5!"

- Jeremy Taylor, Spokane

View the letter in the Spokesman Review here

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 6:57 PM

District 5 commissioner race could flip Spokane County

What was predicted has come to pass: The party that wins in District 5 will almost certainly control the new five-seat Spokane County Commission for the next 2 years.

It’s a huge shift for one of the most powerful elected bodies in our region. There hasn’t been a single Democrat elected to the commission since Al French defeated incumbent Bonnie Mager in 2010, and now it looks like there will be two, and potentially three.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022 6:56 PM

Incumbent French dealt a blow after fellow Republican endorses his Democratic opponent

The race for Spokane County Commission District 5 promised to be interesting from the start.

But it got even more interesting on Thursday when a GOP candidate endorsed the Democrat who will face incumbent Republican Al French in the general election.

District 5 candidate Don Harmon, a Republican who served as Airway Heights’ mayor in the 1990s, is supporting Democrat Maggie Yates. Harmon was eliminated from the race after finishing third in the primary election on Tuesday.

Friday, August 5, 2022 10:20 PM

Don Harmon Endorses Maggie Yates!

After coming out on top of the four-candidate primary for Spokane County
Commissioner in District 5, Maggie Yates received another shot in the arm
with the endorsement of one of her Republican opponents.

Don Harmon, former mayor of Airway Heights, who came in third in the
primary, recommended Yates for the job with the blunt assessment about the
current incumbent “Al French needs to move on.”

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 9:36 PM

French trailing, but other Spokane County Commission incumbents cruise to general election

For the first time in history, voters this year are electing five Spokane County commissioners instead of three.

Spokane County’s three incumbent Republican commissioners all advanced past the primary, but one of them could be in for a close battle come November.

County Commissioner Al French trails Democrat Maggie Yates in the race for District 5, which includes the West Plains, the upper South Hill and northwest Spokane.

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 9:35 PM

New Blood Northwest: First Time Candidates In Eastern Washington

Spokane-raised candidate thinks investing in community will help prevent crime

Maggie Yates is a Democrat, a first-time candidate running for county commissioner in a new district in west Spokane. She was born and raised here, and she wants to raise her own kids here, too. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 9:20 PM

Los Compromisos de Maggie

Una voz crucial para un gobierno transparente, que resuelve los problemas urgentes por medio de colaboración con vecindarios, ciudades, y miembros de la comunidad.

Monday, July 25, 2022 9:40 PM

Yates for commissioner in District 5

Recently 3 supporters of Maggie teamed up to write an LTE in the Spokesman Review. Read it here:

"Over the course of the pandemic, the number of people reporting behavioral health concerns locally increased while Spokane County’s spending on behavioral health per capita plummeted. Fentanyl-related deaths skyrocketed. Youth mental health declined with increased rates of depression, anxiety, psychosis-like experiences and suicidal behaviors. Substance use continues to broadly impact the health of our community. Behavioral health concerns rarely exist in isolation, particularly without proper intervention. People with substance use disorders and mental illnesses have increased physical health problems, high mortality rates, increased rates of homelessness and are disproportionately impacted by the criminal legal system.

Current county leadership has failed to adequately ensure that critical, effective behavioral health interventions are funded, and that the behavioral health workforce is appropriately supported. In fact, the county hasn’t even identified behavioral health as a priority investment for the millions of available American Rescue Plan dollars. Innovative and effective interventions like recovery support and early interventions for young people with psychosis could be expanded with effective County leadership.

We are mental health clinicians and researchers with over 40 years of collective experience improving behavioral health and addiction treatment. We’re supporting Maggie Yates for county commissioner in District 5 because she understands that behavioral health is a critical component of public health and community resilience, resulting from her over a decade’s worth of experience working on issues related to behavioral health in the criminal legal system."

Liat Kriegel, Ph.D., MSW

- Michael McDonell, Ph.D.

- Oladunni Oluwoye, Ph.D.

View the letter in the Spokesman Review here

Monday, July 25, 2022 9:34 PM

Latah Valley is supported by Maggie Yates

Recently A supporter of Maggie wrote an LTE in the Spokesman Review. Read it here: 

"I am a longtime resident of the Grandview/Thorpe neighborhood along the Latah Valley and U.S. 195 corridor. This corridor has experienced explosive growth without concurrent infrastructure improvements necessary to support this development.

For more than 20 years, our elected officials have promised to construct the needed infrastructure and dedicate critical funding to support more development in this area, but they have failed. Current residents of Latah Valley navigate dangerous roads, wonder if fire protection and emergency services will arrive in time, witness the erosion of wildlife corridors, agricultural land, and wetlands, and are subject to having no schools located in this area. Without any plan or vision for the future, Al French championed some of the first developments in this area when on the Spokane City Council. Now as a county commissioner, he has refused to have a conversation about the area’s current challenges, much less attempt to rectify them. Time and time again French has put the interests of developers over his constituents and the region’s long-term wellbeing. I am hopeful this will change soon in the upcoming election.

I am supporting Maggie Yates for Spokane County Commissioner. Maggie has already met with community members in our area and taken the time to listen, understand and take action to support our community. She understands the need to plan for growth and affordable housing in the context of infrastructure, land use, and the conservation of our natural resources. Join me in casting a ballot for our future."

- Molly Marshall, Spokane

View the letter in the Spokesman Review here

Wednesday, July 6, 2022 9:45 PM

Candidates for County Commissioner District 5 Meet in Candidate Forum

Thanks to the League of Women Voters for hosting the District 5 Candidate Forum!

Check out the forum here:


Wednesday, July 6, 2022 9:42 PM

Three challengers hope to bring down Al French in race for Spokane County Commission District 5

Commissioner District 5 includes all of the West Plains cities as well as northwest Spokane and the South Hill above 29th Avenue. It’s one of five new districts drawn during last year’s redistricting process. Because all five seats are up for election this year in the new system, three of the seats will start with two-year terms, including District 5’s. Starting in 2024, all commission seats will have four-year terms.

For the first time, Spokane County this year will elect five commissioners, each representing constituents in one specific district. It’s a dramatic change from the old setup wherein three commissioners ran in district-specific primary elections and countywide general elections.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022 9:36 PM

Spokesman LTE In support of Maggie From July 5th

Recently A supporter of Maggie wrote an LTE in the Spokesman Review. Read it here:

"Maggie Yates is running for Spokane County Commissioner against Al French in the 5th District. Under our current County Commissioner leadership, our unsheltered homeless population has grown by 50% over the past two years according to the latest point-in-time count. The burden of

homelessness falls on our businesses, neighborhoods and cities across our county. The County Commissioners have dodged this problem like our winter pot holes. That’s not leadership, that’s laziness. Some believe that homeless people are simply lazy.

I’ve lived in Cheney for 19 years. I’ve never missed a rental payment. I’ve served the area as a church pastor and prison chaplain. Yet in April, I was forced to leave my apartment of nine years by new owners. I was given 22 days to find an apartment in the Cheney market where there were literally none listed except for college students. I was homeless for two weeks and might still be were it not for the amazing kindness of dear friends. Unfortunately not many people have the resources I have. They desperately need our help.

As the Spokane County Regional Law and Justice Administrator, Maggie demonstrated her ability to tackle our most difficult problems and do it in a manner that is effective and inclusive. She knows firsthand how our County Government functions and will work to make it serve everyone. She will bring her experience, youthful energy and proven leadership skills to help ease our homelessness crisis."

- Ron Baer, Cheney

View the letter in the Spokesman Review here

Tuesday, July 5, 2022 5:50 PM

Find Your County Commissioner District

For the first time this year, Spokane County will elect 5 County Commissioners (instead of 3) by voters who live in specific areas, or districts. Maggie is running in District 5. The map below was created based on the final decisions of the Spokane County Redistricting Committee in October 2021. You can zoom out/in using the “+” and “-” buttons and use your finger or mouse to move the map around to find your district!


Wednesday, June 29, 2022 10:16 PM

Former Spokane County criminal justice reform leader Maggie Yates to run against Commissioner Al French

Maggie Yates, who spent the last four years leading Spokane County’s criminal justice reform efforts, is running for county commissioner against longtime incumbent Al French.

“I’m deeply committed to my hometown, and I know our local county government can work better for everyone,” Yates said.

Saturday, March 26, 2022 6:38 PM

News Release: Maggie Yates Announces Run for County Commissioner


(Spokane, WA) – Spokane County’s longest serving Regional Law & Justice Administrator, Maggie Yates, has announced she is running for the Spokane County Commission seat in District 5, the newly created western District of the County

Sponsored by Friends of Maggie Yates
P.O. Box 8505
Spokane, WA 99203
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