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A county commissioner, a former legislator and a former legislative aide are among five applicants so far for an open state Senate seat in Northeastern Washington’s 7th District.
The seat becomes open Jan. 1 when Sen. Bob Morton, a 22-year veteran legislator, retires halfway through his term. Republican precinct committee officers in the district will nominate as many as three possible replacement to the county commissioners from Spokane, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Ferry and Okanogan counties, who must choose one through a majority vote.
The district’s two state representatives, Republicans Joel Kretz and Shelly Short have said they won’t seek the Senate position.
Applicants can seek the office up to the time precinct officers meet on Dec. 15 in Colville. At this point, GOP officials said they knew of five actively seeking the job
Josh Kerns, a former legislative aide and campaign manager, said today he'll apply for the open state Senate seat in Northeast Washington's 7th District.
Kerns, 27, was a legislative aide during the last session to state Rep. John Ahern, managed the campaign of Ahern's replacement Representative-elect Jeff Holy, and once served as an intern to U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. He describes himself as an "action-oriented advocate of property rights" and someone who won't take as much time to get accustomed to the job because of his experience as a legislative aide.
He has lived in Mead all of his life, but the area has been moved around by legislative redistricting every 10 years. Until this spring he was in the 6th District but the redrawing of lines put him in the 7th,which is where it was in the 1990s after Spokane lost the 5th District which had that area in the 1980s.
Republican precinct committee officers from the 7th District will meet on Dec. 15 in Colville to nominate as many as three people to fill the seat. County commissioners from Spokane, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Ferry and Okanogan counties will meet sometime after Jan. 1, when Bob Morton's retirement becomes official, to select one of those nominees.
The district's two House members, Reps. Joel Kretz and Shelly Short, have said they will not seek a nomination to the Senate.
OLYMPIA — Rep. Shelly Short said this evening she will not seek the state Senate seat that will become open on Jan. 1 with the retirement of Bob Morton.
Morton, a 22-year veteran of the Legislature, announced last week that he would retire halfway through his current term. His position will be filled through a process that takes as many as three nominations from Republican precinct committee officers in northeast Washington's 7th Legislative District, and a majority vote by commissioners of the five counties in the district.
Short, who was just elected to her third House term in November, said she wants to remain in that chamber and continue her work on issues involving energy, the environment and natural resources: "It's important to keep that continuity."
Conversations she has had over the last several days convinced her there are good candidates in the district interested in the Senate seat.
Rep. Joel Kretz, the district's senior House member, previously said he would not seek the seat.
Many residents of the West Plains likely will vote for different legislators this fall, even if they like the ones they have right now.
Medical Lake and Cheney residents would no longer be sharing their legislators with Ritzville and Pullman, and Airway Heights and Fairchild Air Force Base residents won’t share theirs with Colville and Republic. Instead, all would elect legislators with voters on Spokane’s South Hill and the city’s northwest neighborhoods under the new boundaries established by the Washington Redistricting Commission this week.
The commission moved much of the West Plains into the 6th Legislative District as it rearranged boundaries around the state to make up for the increased population recorded in the 2010 Census.
With a statutory deadline just hours away Sunday evening, the redistricting commission overcame the biggest sticking point in drawing legislative and congressional boundaries for the next 10 years – Eastern Washington legislative boundaries.
The plan on which they settled . . .
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