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.