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Former Lawmaker Dino Rossi To Fill Vacant Legislative Seat

Ted S. Warren
AP Photo
Dino Rossi in 2010, when he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.

The King County Council has picked real estate developer and former lawmaker Dino Rossi to fill the senate seat in the 45th Legislative District.  The seat was left vacant after the death of Andy Hill. Hill, a Republican from Redmond, died of cancer on October 31. Rossis was one of three candidates presented to the King County Council by the Republican Central Committee. When there is a vacant legislative seat, the Washington Constitution requires the County Council to appoint someone from the same party as the person who vacated the seat.

In this case, the job interview of the three candidates was a little unusual because the two competitors of Rossi threw their support to him. Kirkland City Councilman Toby Nixon and former state Representative Joel Hussey both said they were honored to be considered, but felt Rossi was the better choice.

"I think that having Dino Rossi as our state senator during the 2017 legislative session, which will be a very difficult session, would be a benefit to the entire state," said Nixon.

Rossi told King County Council members he agreed that he could be an asset in the legislature where he’d served in the past. "What I did as a senator, as chairman of the ways and means committee, I brought people together, Republicans and Democrats," Rossi said.

Rossi will serve for a year, but says he won't run in the next election.

Dino Rossi is probably best known for his runs for statewide office. In 2004, after multiple recounts and a court case, he lost the gubernatorial race to Democrat Christine Gregoire by just 129 votes.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.