Spokane County Treasurer Rob Chase will seek appointment to the county commission seat Shelly O’Quinn plans to vacate this summer.
“I’m definitely pursuing that,” the two-term treasurer said in an interview Friday.
Chase, 63, was first elected in 2010, narrowly defeating incumbent Democrat Skip Chilberg for the post after running as a write-in candidate. He defeated Democratic challenger Amy Biviano in a 2014 re-election bid.
It would be Chase’s second attempt to take the county commission seat. He finished third in a three-way primary in August 2012, behind Democrat Daryl Romeyn and O’Quinn, who eventually won the seat in the general election that year.
After her re-election in November, O’Quinn announced this month that she’d be leaving her post on the commission in July to serve as chief executive of the Inland Northwest Community Foundation. She became the second recent Spokane County commissioner to leave office in the middle of a term, after former colleauge Todd Mielke left to lead Greater Spokane, Inc., in January 2015. Nancy McLaughlin was appointed to replace Mielke, then lost her re-election bid in a primary defeat. Josh Kerns currently occupies Mielke’s former seat on the three-member panel, which is exclusively Republican.
The local Republican Party will meet to select up to three potential appointees to replace O’Quinn. The two remaining county commissioners, Kerns and Al French, would have 60 days to pick a replacement from the list of nominees, or the responsibility of naming a successor would fall to Gov. Jay Inslee.
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