Gov.-elect Jay Inslee has tapped a few old hands from Olympia for his new 34-member transition committee, including a few who helped his campaign.
He also has tapped a couple of prominent Republicans, including former five-term Secretary of State Ralph Munro and a slew of business leaders, while also consulting former governors.
Munro, a longtime moderate, said he wants to help ensure the next governor is successful. Munro was waiting to learn about his role at a meeting of the new committee planned Thursday in Seattle.
“He seemed very sincere in his belief this should be bipartisan,” Munro said of Inslee. “I was surprised when he called. The main point that Gov.-elect Inslee made when he called me was they want talent … This is the sixth governor I’ve known or worked with.”
The transition committee includes a few inside-Olympia actors. Among them: state Labor Council President Jeff Johnson, Washington Federation of State Employees leader Greg Devereux and state firefighters leader Kelly Fox. Other insiders are outgoing state Sen. Lisa Brown, a Spokane Democrat who until recently served as Senate majority leader, and Mary Lindquist, president of the Washington Education Association.
Another member is Brendon Cechovic, executive director of the Seattle-based Washington Conservation Voters, which worked hard for Inslee’s campaign win over Republican Rob McKenna. County elections officials certified Inslee’s 96,557-vote win over McKenna on Tuesday, the same day his campaign released its list of advisers.
The transition team is co-chaired by Microsoft chief counsel Brad Smith, Renton schools Superintendent Mary Alice Heuschel and Washington State University President Elson Floyd.
There is little evidence of a rehash of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s team. The list includes Munro and Jamestown S’Klallam tribal chairman Ron Allen, both Republicans.
Inslee included a number of faces from the Northwest business world: Gary Kaplan, chief executive at the Virginia Mason Health System who has been a pioneer in “Lean” management, which Inslee promises to use in a big way; John Begley, chief executive from Harbor Paper; Louise Chernin, chief executive of the Greater Seattle Business Association; Maud Daudon, chief executive of Seattle Metro Chamber of Commerce; Marty Dickinson, executive vice president of Spokane-based Sterling Financial Corp.; Cris Guillen, founder of the Association of Washington Hispanic Chambers of Commerce; Kimberly Harris, chief executive for Puget Sound Energy; and Orin Smith, a former state budget director and businessman.
There also are local government figures such as Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart. Offering yet another perspective is Somerieh Amirfaiz, executive director of the Refugee Women’s Alliance.
Transition spokesman Sterling Clifford said the first goals are to fill staff positions in the Governor’s Office, which starts with chief of staff, and Cabinet positions.
“We have a thorough process to get the best people for all of those positions,” he said. “There will be a national search for some agencies; for others, we’re hoping for more specialized experience. Some agencies will be run by acting directors for some time.”
That suggests some current agency heads will be expected to step down or offer their resignations. Judy Schurke, director of Labor and Industries, announced Wednesday she is stepping down at year’s end.