Posts tagged: 4th District Senate seat
Because of a quirk in state law, Spokane’s 4th Legislative District will have one senator for the first day of the upcoming special session, and a different senator for the rest of it.
Republican Mike Padden is the apparent winner of the race to fill a seat that came open earlier this year when veteran Sen. Bob McCaslin resigned for health reasons. Padden has a mathematically insurmountable lead over Jeff Baxter, a fellow Republican appointed to the seat earlier this year.
Padden, a former state representative and district judge, leads Baxter by 3,628 votes. The Spokane County elections office estimates there are fewer than 3,000 votes left to count in the 4th District.
Former Rep. Mike Padden is running for the 4th District Senate seat that he was shut out of in the recent appointment process.
Padden announced today that he'll run this fall for the seat formerly held for 30 years by Bob McCaslin, and to which Jeff Baxter was recently appointed by Spokane County Commissioners. His announcement came with endorsements from some Valley GOP heavyweights like McCaslin and former state Rep. Lynn Schindler.
A 14-year legislator and 12-year Spokane County District Court judge, Padden was among more than a half dozen Republicans interested in the appointment when McCaslin resigned on Jan. 5 because of health problems. But when Republican precinct committee officers met later that month to nominate three potential replacements, supporters of state Rep. Matt Shea elected a slate that kept Padden off the list.
4th District Republican Leader Jeff Baxter, a Valley businessman, was appointed to the seat until a special election this fall. He was sworn in last week, but said he wants to wait a few week before deciding whether he'll run for the position in the upcoming special election.
Although Padden can begin campaigning and raising money now, state law prohibits Baxter, Shea, or any sitting legislator from raising money for an election campaign while the Legislature is in session.
He said Monday he left the Legislature in 1995 because he had young children at home, and the district court appointsment was “a great opportunity and allowed me to return here fulltime.
“I always missed the Legislature.”
He currently serves as judicial outreach liaison to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission.
Diane Baxter adjusts the flag pin on her husband Jeff Baxter's lapel before he is sworn in Monday.
OLYMPIA – As he paused from unpacking books Monday onto mostly empty shelves above a mostly empty desk in his mostly empty office, the Spokane-area’s newest senator reflected on the last month: “It’s been a whirlwind.”
In 30 days, Jeff Baxter went from being a Valley businessman active in local GOP politics, to a nominee for an open seat, to taking the oath of office in the Senate chamber. He got his assignments – Judiciary, Human Services and the budget-writing Ways and Means committees – met with Gov. Chris Gregoire and began getting acclimated with the Capitol.
He’s hardly had time to catch his breath since Friday afternoon, when he almost missed the Spokane County commissioners’ appoint him to replace 30-year-veteran Bob McCaslin. It took so long to find a parking space near the courthouse that he and his wife Diane were just walking in the hearing room when he heard one commissioner make a motion to appoint him, another second it and the third vote yes.
“By the time I got to my seat, I was a senator,” he said. “I was shocked. I’m honored. I’m thrilled.”
Bulletin: Republican District Leader and small businessman Jeff Baxter was named to replace state Sen. Bob McCaslin this afternoon by Spokane County Commissioners.
My colleague John Craig has full details here, but not everyone who reads Spin Control checks The Spokesman-Review's Web page, so we thought we'd give him a plug.