Six vie for state House seat vacated by McCoy

EVERETT — A small crowd of Democrats is lining up for a chance to fill John McCoy’s seat in the state House, with a decision anticipated next week.

Six people are reportedly seeking the job which opened up following McCoy’s Nov. 27 appointment to the state Senate. He’s taking former state Sen. Nick Harper’s place.

June Robinson, Jennifer Smolen, Ed Triezenberg, Kelly Wright, David Simpson and Ray Miller are working to corral support from Democratic precinct committee officers, who will meet Dec. 10 to vote on their top three choices for the post. That meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Labor Temple in Everett.

Names of those nominees will be sent to the Snohomish County Council which will select the new lawmaker, possibly the next day.

Whoever gets the gig will serve in 2014 as representative for the 38th Legislative District which includes Everett, Tulalip and part of Marysville. To keep the $42,106-a-year job, they will need to run and win a full two-year term in next fall’s election.

Robinson is an Everett resident whose career has centered on managing community health and affordable housing programs. She lost races for Everett City Council in 2011 and 2012.

This fall she had been seeking appointment to a vacant council seat when Harper resigned and set off the process now culminating in the filling of McCoy’s House seat. She ended her pursuit of the council position to try to secure the legislative job.

Smolen, of Marysville, worked as an aide to state Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, in the 2011 legislative session and then for Snohomish County Councilwoman Stephanie Wright until early last year.

She also is a veteran, having served eight years in the U.S. Army Reserve, including a combat tour in Iraq in 2004 and 2005.

Wright, of Marysville, is a former aide in the state House and one-time Marysville mayoral candidate. He made a bid for the Senate seat and finished behind McCoy and Rep. Mike Sells in balloting by precinct committee officers.

He has said he’s only interested in serving as a caretaker of the House seat for the 2014 session and would not run for a full term in 2014.

Triezenberg, of Tulalip, is a former lobbyist for the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters and presently works for the Carpenters Union.

He told precinct committee officers in a Nov. 12 email that Republicans will target this seat next year and he possesses the “competence, experience and electability” required to keep it a Democratic seat. He said he would run for the seat in the 2014 election regardless of the outcome of the appointment process.

Simpson, of Everett, served on the Everett City Council from 1998 through 2001 and briefly as an appointed state legislator.

In 2004, he was appointed to fill a vacant House seat but then lost it that fall when Sells won the election.

Miller, of Marysville, a certified veterans services officer, and founder and president of the nonprofit veteran assistance group, Vets Place Northwest-Welcome Home. He also is vice-chairman of the 38th Legislative District Democrats.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com.

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