OLYMPIA -- Shelly Short, an Addy Republican who has climbed steadily up the ranks in the state House of Representatives, will seek the open Senate seat in Northeast Washington's 7th District.
Short said today she will ask GOP precinct officers to nominate her for the seat open because Brian Dansel resigned on Tuesday to take a job as special assistant to the U.S. Agriculture secretary.
Earlier in the week, Short said she was inclined to stay in the House, where she is the Republican Caucus chairwoman and a senior member of the Environment Committee. But she added she wanted to talk to Senate Republicans about the opening.
On Friday, she said she'd changed her mind and would seek the seat and was headed back to her district to make her case to Republican precinct officials this weekend.
Under state law, a legislative seat that becomes open remains in the same party. Precinct committee officers of that party meet to listen to wouldbe replacements, and choose up to three for a list sent to county commissioners, who must agree by majority vote on one person on the list. In the case of the 7th District, that involves a precinct officers and commissioners from all five counties completely or partially in the district: Spokane, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Ferry and Okanogan.
Precinct committee officers are scheduled to meet Sunday, and commissioners from the five-counties on Monday. Anyone appointed to the seat would have to run for election in the August primary and the November general election.
Senate Republicans are anxious to fill the seat, because without Dansel, their caucus and the Democrats each have 24 members. Republicans insist that they maintain the majority, although they would need help from the other caucus to get the 25-vote minimum needed to pass any bill. Democrats say the Senate is tied, and they actually have more members because one Republican, Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale, has taken a temporary job with the Trump administration and his not been in Olympia all week.