Dino Rossi is headed back to Olympia. While recent elections haven't been kind to the Eastside Republican, that didn't stop Republican precinct officers from recommending him to replace Sen. Cheryl Pflug in Washington's 5th Legislative District, and it didn't stop the King County Metropolitan Council from unanimously choosing Rossi for the job yesterday.
It'll be familiar territory for Rossi, as it's the same state Senate seat he held from 1997 to 2003, before embarking on his first of two failed gubernatorial bids. MyNorthwest.com reports that Rossi will be paid about $17,500 for filling the temporary position, a prorated chunk of a state senator's annual $42,000 salary.
"There is no better friend or representative to the constituents of the 5th Legislative District than Dino Rossi," said King County Metropolitan Councilmember Reagan Dunn in a prepared statement. "Dino has the experience having served in the Senate previously and will ensure the interests of the 5th district are well served through November."
Rossi, in the same prepared statement, classifies himself as "humbled" with the opportunity to again serve constituents of the 5th District. He has repeatedly said he's not interested in holding the office long term.
Find the complete statement on Rossi's appointment from the King County Metropolitan Council on the following page ...
The press release from the King County Metropolitan Council regarding Dino Rossi's appointment to the vacant 5th Legislative District seat:
July 9, 2012
County Council appoints Dino Rossi to State Senate
Former Senator will serve as caretaker until November election
The Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously appointed former state Senator Dino Rossi to the vacant Washington State Senate seat in the 5th Legislative District. The vacancy came after the resignation of Senator Cheryl Pflug.
"Dino's familiarity with the issues and concerns of the 5th District will serve the residents well," said Councilmember Kathy Lambert of Redmond. "It is fortunate that the former state senator is able to return to his seat in this caretaker capacity. The citizens of the 5th District know and respect Dino, and they will continue having an experienced leader to represent them with any problems they face."
"There is no better friend or representative to the constituents of the 5th Legislative District than Dino Rossi," said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. "Dino has the experience having served in the Senate previously and will ensure the interests of the 5th district are well served through November."
Lambert and Dunn represent portions of the 5th Legislative District on the County Council.
Per the State Constitution, precinct committee officers nominate and submit three names to the Council in the event of a vacancy. The Republican precinct committee officers of the 5th District submitted Rossi's name as the preferred candidate, along with the names of Robert Brunjes, Sr. and Kathryn Kalunzy. Councilmembers interviewed all three candidates at today's meeting of the Committee of the Whole.
"We are honored to have someone of the stature and experience of Dino Rossi to serve the citizens of the district in the high priority area of constituent services," said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague, chair of the Council's Committee of the Whole.
Rossi served in the Washington State Senate from 1997 to 2003. After running for Governor in 2004 and 2008 and the U.S. Senate in 2010, Rossi has returned to the private sector, joining the Coast Equity Partners real estate firm.
Rossi will serve in a caretaker capacity, serving during the interim and until the November general election. Once the election is certified by the state, the candidate elected by the voters of the district will take Rossi's place in the State Senate.
"I'm very humbled for the opportunity to be able to serve the citizens of the 5th Legislative District once again," said Rossi. "During the next four months, if any constituent needs assistance involving the state of Washington, please contact my office."
Senator Rossi will be sworn-in tomorrow (July 10) in Olympia inside the Senate Chambers. The ceremony will begin at 1:00 p.m.