(Spokane, Wash.) – The Spokane Home Builders Association (SHBA) is pleased to report that the new mandatory background check policy for candidates has been met with a positive response and strong participation.

“Following our first time going through this process, we continue to believe that mandatory background checks for candidates increases transparency, which is beneficial for the both the community and the candidates themselves,” said Michael Cathcart, Government Affairs Director for the Spokane Home Builders Association.

The May 21st press release, “Spokane Home Builders Association Taking the Lead on Candidate Transparency,” which announced this new program is available by visiting or by clicking here.

The SHBA invited 19 candidates to participate in an endorsement process that concluded this week with candidate interviews and a vote of the Board of Directors. The first step asked the invited candidates to comply with the background check requirements. The Association declined to interview or consider any candidates who did not agree to the background check.

An announcement of the endorsed candidates will be released next week.

The following list includes all of the candidates invited to participate, if they participated, and whether they chose to publish the results for the public to see. All published background check reports are available online at

Candidate Participation Chart

“We want to thank all of the candidates who chose to take part in the background check and those choosing to publish the results. We believe this is a big win for election transparency in Eastern Washington,” said Cathcart. “We continue to encourage all Eastern Washington organizations who issue campaign endorsements to join with us in making background checks a mandatory part of their process.”

The background checks through Candidate Verification include:

  • Civil and criminal records search, including the national sex offender registry search
  • Military records verification
  • Resume verification, including: employment history verification, professional credential verification, and post-secondary degree/diploma verification
  • NOTE: A credit check is not part of this process

More information about Candidate Verification can be found at Anyone wishing to contribute to Candidate Verification to ensure the funding of candidate background checks in Spokane and Eastern Washington may do so by clicking here.



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(SPOKANE, Wash.) – Last week, the Board of Directors of the Spokane Home Builders Association (SHBA) voted unanimously to early-endorse several incumbent candidates for re-election in 2014. They join Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich who already received the Association’s endorsement earlier this year.

“Our region is truly blessed to have so many hard working elected leaders fighting to make government smarter, less intrusive, and more efficiently sized,” said Michael Cathcart, SHBA Government Affairs Director. “Included among those our board selected for early-endorsements are two local leaders likely to see high profile re-election campaigns next year: Senator Michael Baumgartner and County Commissioner Al French.”

Sen. Michael Baumgartner, Vice-Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, has been an ardent advocate for smarter, reform-minded policies that eliminate unnecessary government mandates and ensure a more prosperous economic environment for Washington State. His leadership has helped to promote cooperation among the diverse members of the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC), and has provided a needed Spokane/Eastern Washington perspective within the bi-partisan group.

“Our small businesses and the home building industry very much need to see Sen. Baumgartner re-elected and the principles of the MCC continue to lead the Senate,” said Deacon Band, SHBA President. “The common sense reforms championed by Sen. Baumgartner and the MCC are necessary to continue enhancing our business environment.”

Commissioner French has long been a strong proponent of pro-growth policies such as expanding the Urban Growth Area boundary where needed and making permitting an easier and less expensive ordeal, demonstrating his intimate understanding that a strong economic environment and a robust housing industry are dependent upon each other.

“Al French brings with him a reservoir of knowledge, years of experience, and a terrific track record on property rights, small business, and economic issues,” said Joel White, SHBA Executive Director. “He is clearly the best choice to serve another four years as Spokane County Commissioner.”

The following candidates received early-endorsements from the Spokane Home Builders Association:

Michael Baumgartner – State Senator, 6th District; Rob Chase – Treasurer, Spokane County; Susan Fagan – State Representative, 9th District; Al French – Commissioner, Spokane County; Jeff Holy – State Representative, 6th District; Ozzie Knezovich – Sheriff, Spokane County (endorsed earlier this year); Joel Kretz – State Representative, 7th District; Kevin Parker – State Representative, 6th District; Cathy McMorris Rodgers – Congress, 5th Congressional Dist.; Joe Schmick – State Representative, 9th District; Matt Shea – State Representative, 4th District ; Shelly Short – State Representative, 7th District;

Not all races were considered in this slate of early-endorsements. Additional endorsements will be approved in the coming months.