Dino Rossi is poised to serve as 5th Legislative District senator — again

July 9, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 10:05 a.m. July 9, 2012

Dino Rossi is all but certain to head back to Olympia to represent Issaquah and other Eastside communities in the state Senate.

Dino Rossi

Rossi — a GOP candidate for governor in 2004 and 2008, and for U.S. Senate in 2010 — succeeded former state Sen. Cheryl Pflug. The businessman and Sammamish resident last represented the 5th Legislative District in the state Senate from 1996 until resigning in 2003 to run for governor.

King County Council members recommended Rossi for the caretaker position Monday, a little more than a week after Pflug resigned to serve on a state board.

The council is expected to decide on the appointment Monday afternoon. The last action is a formality.

“I do know the people of this district,” Rossi said in testimony to council members.

Under state law, the council is responsible for appointing a successor to the Senate seat. Pflug resigned to accept a state board post.

The law calls for GOP officials to submit three candidates to the council for the open seat. Then, the council must make a selection within 60 days of Pflug’s resignation.

In May, Gov. Chris Gregoire appointed Pflug to a six-year term on the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board, the panel responsible for mediating disputes about planning and development issues in municipalities throughout the state.

Members cannot serve simultaneously on the board and in the Legislature.

The seat is up for election in the meantime between Issaquah Councilman Mark Mullet, a Democrat, and Snoqualmie businessman Brad Toft, a Republican.

Pflug’s successor is not expected to serve for long. The appointee only serves until county elections officials certify the November election results.

The council also considered Bob Brunjes, 5th District GOP chairman and a Snoqualmie resident, and Kate Kaluzny, a former Issaquah City Council candidate, for the open seat.

Rossi is not expected to cast a vote in the Legislature unless the governor calls a special session.

The district is different since Rossi departed in December 2003. Redistricting last year removed Sammamish from the district.

Rossi, in fact, is inside the 45th Legislative District boundaries for future elections.

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