Shawn Poole isn't a career politician. In fact, he calls himself a "working class, knuckle-dragging firefighter," who has spent his entire life as a public servant.
"Civil servitude is about giving back to the community," said Poole. "And my entire adult life I've been a servant."
Poole is running for mayor of Spokane. The 54-year-old believes voters will relate to his working class attitude.
"If I get elected I owe it to the people to do what is right for them," said Poole. "City government has got to the point where they're going to do what's best for City Hall and everybody else out there - your voice doesn't matter."
Poole graduated from Shadle Park High School in 1982. Upon graduation, he attended the University of Montana. There, Poole played football and participated in R.O.T.C. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice in 1987, he entered active duty with the United States Army.
In 1990, Poole took part in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield and received the Bronze Star Medal.
Following active duty, Poole returned to Spokane where he began a 25 plus year career with the Spokane Fire Department.
While fighting the three-alarm Joel Building fire in July 2008, Poole rescued a fellow firefighter who had fallen through the floor. As the fire progressed he also fell through a floor, sustaining a collapsed lung and a torn ligament in his knee. Poole was awarded the Spokane Fire Departments Medal of Valor and Purple Heart.
Just three months after his injury, Poole was deployed to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom.
If elected, Poole says his priorities would be to lower the crime rate, hire additional police officers, fix the pothole problem, cut taxes, and keep repeat offenders off the streets.
"I think the working class people of this city can identify with the fact that there's a working class guy that wants to stand up and do the right thing," said Poole.
Poole is running against current City Council President, Ben Stuckart, and EWU graduate, Chris Schroll.