Republicans looking to replace the late state Sen. Andy Hill may turn to a familiar face: former legislator and three-time statewide candidate Dino Rossi.
Republicans seeking a temporary replacement for the late state Sen. Andy Hill may turn to a familiar face.
Dino Rossi, the former state lawmaker and three-time Republican candidate for statewide office, said Tuesday he’s willing to step into Hill’s seat for a year if appointed to the position.
Hill, the Senate GOP’s chief budget writer and father of three, died late last month at age 54 after a battle with lung cancer.
Under a process laid out in the state Constitution, Hill’s replacement will be appointed by the Metropolitan King County Council from a list of three names submitted by GOP precinct-committee officers in the 45th Legislative District, which includes parts of Redmond, Kirkland, Sammamish and Duvall.
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The meeting to pick the three finalists is scheduled for Saturday in Woodinville, and Rossi said he plans to be there.
Rossi said he’s not looking to return to the Legislature long term and won’t campaign to keep the seat. He said he’s been approached about filling the seat on a temporary basis.
“I don’t need a job,” Rossi said. “But if it would help, I would consider doing the interim from now until November … they probably could use some help down there.”
Dale Fonk, chairman of the 45th Legislative District Republicans, said others also have expressed interest.
“We want to be evenhanded. If somebody is genuinely interested we want them to make their case on what they see as their own merits,” he said.
Kirkland City Councilman Toby Nixon said he, too, is willing to put his name on the list for the appointment but would defer to Rossi.
Whoever is appointed would join a 2017 Legislature wrestling with big budget issues, including how to resolve the Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling on education funding.
Rossi has been through the budget process before as the Senate Ways and Means Committee chairman in the 2000s.
He ran for governor in 2004, losing the closest race in state history to Democrat Chris Gregoire. Rossi lost a rematch four years later and unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Sen. Patty Murray in 2010.
If appointed, it would be the second temporary legislative stint for Rossi. He served for five months in 2012 after the resignation of another state senator, Cheryl Pflug.