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Democrats will caucus Sept. 11 to prioritize candidates for state House appointment

POULSBO — Kitsap County Democrats will convene a special caucus on Sept. 11 to select three recommended candidates to complete Christine Rolfes’ term as 23rd District state representative.

Rolfes was appointed to the Kitsap Board of County Commissioners to the state Senate. County commissioners will appoint one of the rank-ordered candidates to fill the remainder of the House term.

Early candidates for appointment are Hilary Franz, a Bainbridge Island City Council member; Drew Hansen of Bainbridge, a partner in a Seattle law firm; Holly Mortlock of Bremerton, legislative assistant to state Rep. Eileen Cody, D-Seattle; and Ed Stern, a Poulsbo City Council member since 1998.

One candidate has announced his candidacy to run for the position in 2012: James Olsen, Republican, of Bainbridge Island. The retired U.S. Coast Guard captain, who ran unsuccessfully for the House in 2010, has repeatedly criticized Phil Rockefeller for leaving the state Senate before his term’s end — and Rolfes for leaving the House for the Senate — saying elected officials have a contract with voters to serve the terms to which they are elected, and not use those positions as stepping stones.

Those interested in applying for appointment to the state House may obtain an application from Michael Arnold, chairman of the Kitsap County Democrats, at KitsapChair@yahoo.com. Application deadline is Aug. 26. The mailing address is KCDCC, P.O. Box 27, Silverdale, WA 98383. Should hand delivery be necessary to meet the deadline, applications can be delivered to Arnold at 1331 Eastlake Drive, Bremerton; or Jim Sommerhauser, 753 Orrfelt Drive NW, Bremerton.

On Aug. 30, the executive boards of the county Democratic Central Committee and the 23rd Legislatie District Democrats will meet to screen all applicants for eligibility. On Sept. 11, precinct committee officers will caucus at the Eagle’s Nest at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds to select three nominees, in ranked order of preference, to be submitted to the Kitsap Board of County Commissioners for appointment. The caucus will start at 2 p.m.

Members of the House and Senate receive $42,106 a year. House members serve two-year terms; there are 98 representatives from 49 districts. Senators serve four-year terms; there are 49 senators from 49 districts.

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