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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.”

The League’s policy requires at least two candidates present in a League forum, which means
voters will be denied seeing Yates and French in a head-to-head match-up. The League’s forum
will be open to the public, televised on City Cable 5 and shared online. French did participate in
the League’s primary debate, along with Yates, Don Harmon, and Tara Carter. Yates won the
four-way primary on Aug. 2 with nearly 45 percent of the vote compared to French’s 41 percent.
The two other candidates in the primary have since thrown their support to Yates.

Yates regrets French’s failure to participate.

“The League’s forums perform a valuable public service. My opponent’s inability to find a small
window of time speaks volumes. By denying voters an opportunity to hear from both of us in a
fair, accessible, and non-partisan setting, Al French confirms he campaigns the same way he
governs: ‘the less people know, the better’” she said.

Yates, who served as the Spokane County Regional Law and Justice Administrator for three and
a half years, has been campaigning for greater transparency and accountability for the County
Commission. The fact that French has ducked their debate, she said, illustrates his history of
refusing to defend his policies and actions before the public.

“Meanwhile, I will continue to meet with voters throughout District Five to explain my positions
and listen carefully to their concerns,” she said.

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