The 28th District may not get a new state House member before the Legislature’s drop-dead budget deadline of June 30.
Pierce County Republicans have set a date of June 25 for nominating a slate of three choices for an appointment to the state House.
The Pierce County Council would choose one of the trio but needs to give notice at least a week before that vote, unless it passes an emergency ordinance as it did last week in replacing the late Sen. Mike Carrell. The House vacancy is seen as less urgent because the Democrats there have a comfortable majority even before Republicans were left one member short.
Carrell’s death set off dominoes that led to the appointment of Rep. Steve O’Ban as a senator and a vacancy in O’Ban’s House seat.
Republican precinct-committee officers from the 28th District meet at 6 p.m. at Lakewood City Hall to consider a replacement for O’Ban, and many Republicans have expressed interest. “They’re coming out of the woodwork,” said Bob Brown, the district GOP leader.
Already in the mix: University Place city councilman Javier Figueroa and two former unsuccessful candidates for House: Clover Park school board member Paul Wagemann and nonprofit executive Malcolm Russell.
Others who are considering a run include former Pierce County Councilman Dick Muri, who the council rejected in favor of O’Ban for the Senate seat, and Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson, who said he hasn’t made a decision.
“I’m considering it generally, but I have a lot of puzzle pieces that I have to put together,” said Anderson, himself a former unsuccesful House candidate as well as a lawyer and past president of the Puyallup School Board.
Those pieces include matters of family, finances, and of course, Lakewood. “I wouldn’t want to abandon the post at Lakewood right now given that we’re choosing a new city manager and the council is relatively new,” he said.
Nothing legally would prevent him from serving in both positions at once.
The appointee must be of the same party as O’Ban, a Republican, and would serve until after a special election in November 2014. Lawmakers are headed toward a second special session and must agree on a budget before the current budget period runs out June 30 or face uncharted territory that could include a government shutdown.
UPDATE 6/11: Larry Faulk, a state senator from 1966-1970, says he is also seeking the appointment.