Republicans made Gig Harbor resident Jesse Young their top choice Wednesday to fill out the year left in Rep. Jan Angel’s term in the state House.
Pierce County council members and Kitsap County commissioners will now appoint someone from the GOP’s slate of three nominees: either Young; second choice Adam Berman, a Gig Harbor film maker; or third choice Doug Cloud, a Gig Harbor lawyer.
Republican Angel, of Port Orchard, is moving across the Capitol rotunda to the Senate after winning an expensive special election against Sen. Nathan Schlicher last month to replace former Sen. Derek Kilmer.
Young received the nod from more than 50 local Republican Party officers who gathered Wednesday evening in Port Orchard.
The candidates were vying to represent the 26th District that runs from Bremerton to the Tacoma Narrows bridges. Whoever is appointed would be part of the Republican minority in the House. State law calls for an appointee from the party of the lawmaker being replaced.
The winner of an election next November would serve a full two-year term, and Young said he would run.
Young, who sometimes was homeless while growing up in Tacoma, is a business consultant who ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year.
Republicans considered six candidates for the job, including Gig Harbor real estate broker Spencer Hutchins, South Kitsap Fire & Rescue firefighter Doug Richards and retired Navy Capt. Duane Hatch.
Others who were considering seeking the seat bowed out, including former Pierce County Councilman Terry Lee, who said he wants to devote his time to his job directing PenMet Parks.
County authorities often, but not always, choose a political party’s top choice when filling a vacancy. The GOP-controlled Pierce County Council bypassed Republicans’ first choice last June in replacing the late Lakewood Sen. Mike Carrell with Steve O’Ban.
When the Pierce County Council and the Democratic Kitsap County commission made a joint appointment to replace Kilmer last January, they went with Democrats’ first choice, Schlicher.
To weight the two counties’ votes equally, each of the three Kitsap commissioners gets one vote while each of the seven Pierce council members counts as three-sevenths of a vote.
The two boards have not yet scheduled a House appointment vote. The Kitsap board’s clerk said it was considering holding the meeting in January. Lawmakers reconvene in Olympia for their regular session Jan. 13.