Dino Rossi selling his book
Dino Rossi selling his book

The King Coun­ty Repub­li­can Par­ty has nom­i­nat­ed for­mer State Sen­a­tor Dino Rossi, Kirk­land City Coun­cilmem­ber Toby Nixon, and peren­ni­al leg­isla­tive can­di­date Joel Hussey to suc­ceed Andy Hill, per a tweet from Repub­li­can con­sul­tant Brett Bad­er, who we’re guess­ing attend­ed the par­ty’s nom­i­nat­ing meet­ing today.

Rossi, fifty-sev­en has served mul­ti­ple stints in the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate and will most like­ly be who the King Coun­ty Coun­cil appoints to fill the vacan­cy. Rossi has said he would not run to hold the seat, but would instead serve as a care­tak­er.

Rossi has run three failed cam­paigns for statewide office: in 2004 (for Gov­er­nor), in 2008 (again for Gov­er­nor), and in 2010 (for U.S. Sen­ate). He lost those cam­paigns to Chris Gre­goire and Pat­ty Mur­ray. In 2012, after Cheryl Pflug resigned her Sen­ate seat, Rossi was tapped to serve out the remain­ing months of Pflug’s term. (Demo­c­rat Mark Mul­let suc­ceed­ed Rossi as the dis­tric­t’s sen­a­tor in Jan­u­ary of 2013; Mul­let is cur­rent­ly on track to win a sec­ond four-year term.)

Nixon is a Kirk­land City Coun­cilmem­ber who pre­vi­ous­ly served as State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the 45th. A decade ago, Nixon ran for state Sen­ate to suc­ceed the depart­ing Bill Finkbein­er, but was defeat­ed by Eric Oemig, who lost his bid for a sec­ond term four years lat­er to Andy Hill. Nixon then tried to get his state House seat back in the 2008 cycle, run­ning against Roger Good­man, the man who’d tak­en his place, but Good­man pre­vailed and has con­tin­ued to win every cycle since.

Joel Hussey is one of the Repub­li­cans Good­man has van­quished in those sub­se­quent cycles. He was Good­man’s fourth oppo­nent (after Jef­frey Possinger, Nixon, and Kevin Haist­ings). Hussey gar­nered 43.54% of the vote in 2012 against Good­man and 45.01% in a 2014 rematch. Good­man this year faced Sam­mamish City Coun­cilmem­ber Ramiro Valder­ra­ma, who is get­ting a pal­try 38.09%.

Because the 45th’s bound­aries are entire­ly with­in King Coun­ty, the King Coun­ty Coun­cil has the final say over who will be appoint­ed. How­ev­er, the Coun­cil must choose from among Rossi, Nixon, or Hussey, per Arti­cle II, Sec­tion 15 of the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion. If the Coun­cil fails to act in a time­ly fash­ion, respon­si­bil­i­ty for mak­ing an appoint­ment would pass to Gov­er­nor Inslee.

As men­tioned above, Rossi has said he is will­ing to take over from Hill for the 2017 ses­sion but would not be a can­di­date in the spe­cial elec­tion to suc­ceed Hill. Nixon and Hussey have not made sim­i­lar pub­lic state­ments to our knowl­edge, but it’s quite pos­si­ble they’re also inter­est­ed in just being caretakers.

The elec­tion to pick a suc­ces­sor to Hill will held con­cur­rent­ly with the 2017 local elec­tions next August and November.

Spe­cial Sen­ate elec­tions will also be tak­ing place in the 37th, 48th, and 31st dis­tricts to fill vacan­cies left by Prami­la Jaya­pal, Cyrus Habib, and Pam Roach, who will be leav­ing the Leg­is­la­ture to take oth­er elect­ed positions.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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3 replies on “Republicans nominate Dino Rossi, Toby Nixon, and Joel Hussey to succeed Andy Hill”

  1. Joel Hussey and I both stat­ed to the PCOs that we would not be can­di­dates in 2017, but would serve as “care­tak­ers” as would Dino. I don’t know if Joel has made a “pub­lic” state­ment to that effect, but I post­ed mine on Face­book yesterday.

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