By Evan Smith
The Snohomish County Council plans to appoint a replacement for retired Democratic 21st District State Sen. Paull Shin at a Jan 21 meeting.
Shin suddenly retired Tuesday for health reasons.
District precinct committee officers plan to meet Jan. 18 to nominate three candidates for the position, as required by State law.
Democratic State Rep. Marko Liias is the only announced candidate for the position, both for the appointment and for the coming election.
If he remains the only candidate, the District Democrats probably will nominate Liias and two candidates who would defer to Liias in interviews before the County Council.
If the Council does appoint Liias, the appointment would create a vacancy in the State House of Representatives position that Liias now holds.
Two candidates have said that they plan to seek appointment to the Liias position — Darrell Chapman, a retired official of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and Lillian Ortiz-Self a counselor in the Everett schools, who serves on the governor’s committee on Hispanic affairs.
Snohomish County Democratic Chairman Steven Wright said Tuesday that PCOs at the Jan. 18 meeting would nominate candidates for both the Shin position and the Liias position.
Wright said that he hoped that Liias could take office right after the Council appoints him and that the Council could then interview candidates for the House position, but representatives for Council members said Wednesday that they don’t think this is allowed.
Democrats are anxious to fill the Senate seat because of the close partisan split in that body. They have a clear majority in the House.
The 21st District includes most of Edmonds, unincorporated areas north of Edmonds and Lynnwood, all of Mukilteo and part of south Everett.