Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Jerry Jones
Gazette Editor 

Considering the HRC candidate


April 4, 2019

Nadine Woodward, the newly-retired Spokane T.V. news anchor who is now running for mayor of Spokane, was on the other side of the cameras Tuesday to announce her campaign. Judged from the perspective of a weekly news person from the outer perimeter, she didn't do very well. She deflected reporters' questions and used the word "collaboration" a lot.

Woodward deserves a lot of respect for lasting 30 years in the Spokane television news market. With its daily, maybe hourly, time restrictions and its wide area of intended coverage, it is a tough and competitive business.

Also, Woodward deserves some measure of credit for seeking public career number two. Instead of retiring to her craft room, or possibly a cabin overlooking a body of calm water, she has opted to get into the thick of the race for the open mayoral seat in Spokane.

A big part of Woodward's campaign launch stems from her status as a High Recognition Candidate. Television viewers all over the Inland Empire are used to hearing her voice and calm approach to the daily news. She has built an audience.

One of the top concerns involving media HRC candidates is the irony that their previous line of work does little to qualify them for the job they seek. The daily grind for a television news team consumes time and effort with the clocks and odometers clicking away. Every day they have to get to the news, get it reported, and get it ready to go.

In short, when Woodward was in the daily news grind all of those years, she had little time to get out and about. Also she was working in a mode where she didn't announce opinion.

Unlike Ben Stuckart, her likely opponent in the general election, Woodward lacks public recognition on where she stands on Spokane topics of the day. What would be her solutions?

Homeless people, the downtown stadium proposal, the railroad tanker trains, the North-South freeway, the U district bridge, the police officers' party, and the North Monroe rebuild are among topics that have been on the table.

Another consideration is qualifications as an administrator. The Spokane mayor heads up an organization which serves residents in several different ways. Many departments, many careers, many egos and a few derailments are faced by the top office holder in the administrative branch.

And all of it has to be squeezed into the confines of an annual city budget.

A third question would be her ability to cope with the "out of the blue" topics that are bound to land on any mayor's desk during a term of office.

One skill which isn't on any application form, is the ability of a public office holder to react to emergencies and sudden policy derailments and keep the town on track for the public good.


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