Former Sen. Cheryl Pflug reacts to Dino Rossi appointment

July 17, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Cheryl Pflug, former state senator for Issaquah and other Eastside communities, lambasted the appointment of Dino Rossi to fill the seat Pflug vacated late last month.

Cheryl Pflug

The sharp statement from Pflug, a Maple Valley Republican, came July 10, a day after the King County Council appointed Rossi to the seat as a caretaker until after the November election.

“I’m angry and appalled at the tactics of my former Senate Republican leadership, and I think they and Rossi shame themselves by trying to play godfather,” she said in the statement.

Pflug also endorsed Mark Mullet, a Democrat and Issaquah City Council member, in the race for the Senate race. Mullet is running against Brad Toft, a Snoqualmie businessman, for the post.

“This has been brewing for awhile, and I did tell Mark that he could put my name in the voters’ pamphlet,” she said in a later interview.

The deadline for candidates to submit information for the voter guide was late last month.

Pflug resigned from the Senate last month after Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, appointed Pflug to a $92,500-per-year post on the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board.

Pflug also withdrew from the Senate election and in the statement raised questions about Toft’s candidacy.

“I had said privately to the Senate Republican leadership that if they were going to do a negative campaign and cover over Toft’s background that I wasn’t going to be silent about that,” she said in the interview.

Washington State Republican Party Chairman Kirby Wilbur used similarly blunt language to defend the Rossi appointment.

“The process that appointed Dino Rossi to Cheryl Pflug’s old seat was open and honest, the exact same way it was when Cheryl was appointed to her Senate seat in 2003,” Wilbur said in a statement. “For her to criticize this transparent appointment process, given how sneaky and deceitful it was for her to make a backroom deal for a cushier position as a bureaucrat makes her a hypocrite — plain and simple.”

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