OLYMPIA — Snohomish County Councilman Hans Dunshee has resigned from the state House of Representatives and the process to fill his seat has started.
Dunshee submitted his resignation letter to Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday, the same day the governor signed the supplemental state budget. Dunshee played a central role in drafting the spending plan and said he intended to serve until it became law.
“Budget signed, I resigned,” said Dunshee, the Snohomish Democrat who was chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and lead budget negotiator for his caucus.
He’s held two jobs since his Feb. 29 appointment to the council, where he will succeed Dave Somers, who was elected as county executive.
His decision creates an immediate opening for the Position 1 seat in the 44th Legislative District that takes in the cities of Snohomish, Lake Stevens and Mill Creek and part of Marysville.
State law dictates the person appointed to the seat be of the same political party as the resigning lawmaker, hence a Democrat. The appointee would serve until November, when voters will elect someone to serve the full two-year House term.
Richard Wright, chairman of the Snohomish County Democratic Party, said Tuesday he hopes to see it filled by appointment in May.
The process calls for Democratic precinct committee officers in the legislative district to provide names of three people to the Snohomish County Council to consider for the appointment. The council will then interview each of the three and make a selection.
Wright said he’s coordinating with leaders of the 44th Legislative District Democrats on when to hold the meeting to choose those three people. The central committee of the county party also must ratify the selections before they are sent to the council.
Former Snohomish County executive John Lovick, who announced his candidacy for the seat in February, said Tuesday he’ll seek the appointment.
“I have contacted the PCOs,” he said. “The district deserves representation.”
Wright said he was unaware of any others who had publicly expressed interest in the appointment.
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; firstname.lastname@example.org.