OLYMPIA -- Senate Republicans lost their budget expert with the death of Sen. Andy Hill. For the 2017 session, they'll have a old budget hand to fill his position, Dino Rossi.
Rossi, a commercial real estate investor, may be best known as the person who lost the 2004 governor's election by a whisker in the final recount. He also ran a second time against Christine Gregoire in 2008 and against U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in 2010.
But before he got into those statewide races, Rossi was in the state Legislature, and rose to the top of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, where he wrote budgets early in the last decade. He gave up his 5th Legislative District seat to run for governor, but was briefly reappointed to it in 2012 to fill a vacancy between sessions after his successor Cheryl Pflug resigned to take an appointment.
In 2012, Rossi's Sammamish address was still in the 5th District. He didn't move, but the boundaries for the districts changed with that year's election and he's now in the 45th District, which Hill represented.
Rossi was appointed Monday to the open seat by the King County Council. He will serve through next November, when an election will be held for voters to pick a replacement for Hill.