NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Monday, September 18th, 2023

Kitsap County Commission appoints Greg Nance to the Washington State House

Activist, run­ner, and non­prof­it leader Greg Nance has been cho­sen to suc­ceed Drew Hansen in the Wash­ing­ton House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives by the three-mem­ber Kit­sap Coun­ty Com­mis­sion, the coun­ty announced today. He will rep­re­sent the 23rd Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict as one of its two state representatives.

Nance was one of three nom­i­nees pro­posed by the Kit­sap Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee to fill the vacan­cy cre­at­ed by Hansen’s move over to the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate. Hansen took the place of for­mer State Sen­a­tor Chris­tine Rolfes, who is now her­self on the Kit­sap Coun­ty Com­mis­sion and had a vote in pick­ing her own suc­ces­sor and then Hansen’s successor.

“Com­mis­sion­ers select­ed Nance based upon inter­views with the can­di­dates Sept. 15 and his let­ters of endorse­ment from the Suquamish Tribe, labor unions and oth­er com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions,” Kit­sap Coun­ty explained in a news release.

“They also point­ed to the diver­si­ty of his expe­ri­ence includ­ing envi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship, work with local tribes and cham­pi­oning youth men­tal health. Over­all, Com­mis­sion­ers believe he can ‘hit the ground run­ning’ and that he will be a strong rep­re­sen­ta­tive of our com­mu­ni­ties with a depth of under­stand­ing of the bud­getary and ser­vice chal­lenges of coun­ty gov­ern­ment. They feel he is best suit­ed to rep­re­sent Kit­sap dur­ing the short 60-day leg­isla­tive ses­sion next spring.”

Nance was the sec­ond nom­i­nee sub­mit­ted on the par­ty’s list of three names. List­ed first was Brynn Felix and list­ed third was Leiy­o­mi Preciado.

The Con­sti­tu­tion does not require or encour­age polit­i­cal par­ties to rank the lists of nom­i­nees they sub­mit to fill vacan­cies, but the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty’s prac­tice is to do any­way in an attempt to influ­ence who gets appoint­ed. Some­times, the leg­isla­tive author­i­ty goes with the precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers’ first pick, but in many cas­es they don’t, and this was one of those cases.

Under the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion, the par­ty has the pow­er to nom­i­nate, while the local leg­isla­tive author­i­ties have the pow­er to appoint.

Appoint­ing pow­er is trans­ferred to the gov­er­nor in the event that no appoint­ment is made by the local leg­isla­tive author­i­ties after six­ty days.

Nance was pre­pared to run for the posi­tion in 2024 regard­less of who the Com­mis­sion appoint­ed. He is endorsed by for­mer State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Sher­ry Apple­ton (his seat­mate Tar­ra Sim­mons’ pre­de­ces­sor), Bain­bridge Island May­or Bren­da Fantroy-John­son, and Kit­sap PUD Com­mis­sion­er Deb­bi Lester.

Nance’s top pri­or­i­ties as a state leg­is­la­tor are pro­tect­ing Puget Sound, sav­ing our pub­lic schools, and mobi­liz­ing for men­tal health.

“Greg grew up in a mid­dle class union fam­i­ly on Bain­bridge Island and worked as a land­scap­er, house painter, and fire­wood split­ter,” his biog­ra­phy says.

“The son of a social work­er and pub­lic defend­er, Greg learned the val­ue of hard work and com­mu­ni­ty ser­vice around the din­ner table.”

“His Mom spent over twen­ty years as a nurs­ing home social work­er ensur­ing seniors across Kit­sap have access to qual­i­ty care and are treat­ed with dig­ni­ty. His Dad was a Seat­tle Sea­hawks beer ven­dor before help­ing union­ize the Seat­tle Pub­lic Defend­er to ensure every­one, includ­ing the poor and mar­gin­al­ized, are pro­vid­ed effec­tive legal rep­re­sen­ta­tion as guar­an­teed by our constitution.”

Nance joins a House Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus that has grown in size and become more diverse in recent elec­tion cycles. Pri­or to the 2018 midterms, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty had a bare major­i­ty of fifty in the House, but nowa­days, its major­i­ty stands at fifty-eight. The par­ty can afford to lose eight votes and still pass a bill in the cham­ber. For­mer State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Drew Hansen chaired a key com­mit­tee, Judi­cia­ry, so his depar­ture will prompt a reshuf­fling before the 2024 session.

NPI con­grat­u­lates Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Greg Nance on his appoint­ment. We wish him the best as he begins his new respon­si­bil­i­ties serv­ing the 23rd District.

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