State Senate Democrats will be one short on the first day of session Monday, as officials from Pierce and Kitsap counties have yet to pick a successor to former Sen. Derek Kilmer of Gig Harbor.
The vacancy might not matter much, since defections by Democrats’ more conservative members have already left them one vote short of controlling the Senate. They number only 23 without Kilmer’s seat filled and 24 with a replacement.
Kilmer was elected to Congress, giving the Pierce and Kitsap county governing boards the job of appointing a new senator to a one-year term. They will choose from a group of three nominated by local Democrats, whose top choice was emergency-room doctor Nathaniel Schlicher.
The Democrats on the Kitsap County commission wanted to meet in time to have a new senator by Monday, Commissioner Charlotte Garrido said. “I just feel folks who live in the 26th District would like to be represented right from the start,” she said.
But the schedule couldn’t be worked out with the Republican-led Pierce County Council.
The council’s administrator, Susan Long, said the vote wouldn’t happen before Tuesday afternoon because that’s when the council has its ceremony to officially swear in members for a new term. While most of council members have already been sworn in separately, returning Chairwoman Joyce McDonald is waiting for Tuesday’s ceremony, Long said.
Officials from both counties say Thursday is the most likely day, with a time still up in the air.Jordan Schrader: 360-786-1826 jordan.schrader@ thenewstribune.comblog.thenewstribune.com/politics @Jordan_Schrader