Council races in Spokane, Valley remain tight as more ballots are counted

<p><p>The gap between Spokane City Council candidates Zack Zappone and Mike Lish ever-so-slightly narrowed on Thursday.</p></p><p><p>After another day of ballot counting, Lish trails Zappone by nearly 3 percentage points in the race to represent northwest Spokane in District 3.</p></p><p><p>Initial results on election day showed Lish, a businessman, trailing Zappone, a teacher, by more than 4 percentage points. On Wednesday, Lish made significant progress, closing the margin to 3 percentage points.</p></p><p><p>Votes counted on Thursday still trended in Lish’s favor, but to a much smaller degree than on Wednesday.</p></p><p><p>In Spokane Valley, the City Council race between James “JJ” Johnson and Rod Higgins also remains too close to call.</p></p><p><p>After the new count was posted on Thursday, Johnson was ahead with 50.4% of the vote compared with Higgins’ 49%. That’s a gap of 1.5%, compared with 3.5% when initial results were posted on Election Day.</p></p><p><p>In the other tightly contested Spokane Valley City Council race, Laura Padden moved closer to victory on Thursday. She now leads incumbent Linda Thompson, earning 52% of the vote to Thompson’s 47%.</p></p><p><p>There are about 22,000 votes left to count, according to the Spokane County Elections Office.</p></p><p><p>Ballots are counted as long as they were postmarked by Tuesday.</p></p>