Go to the politics section for more local and national politics coverage.

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

December 5, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Pollet appointed to fill 46th District seat

Posted by Bob Young

Gerry Pollet got a grilling this morning from some King County Council members who then voted 9-0 to appoint him to an open state House seat in north Seattle's 46th District.

Pollet was selected by 46th Legislative District Democratic precinct committee officers as the top choice to replace former Rep. David Frockt, who moved up to the state Senate to replace Scott White, who died in October at 41 from heart problems. Pollet, a lawyer and environmental activist, ran unsuccessfully against White in 2008. Sylvester Cann, a former aide to White, and Javier Valdez, a long-time party activist, came in second and third, respectively, in the 46th District voting.

Both Cann and Valdez urged council members to respect the District's replacement process and appoint Pollet. All three are liberal Democrats.

Though officially non-partisan, council members still meet in party caucuses and often vote along party lines. Republicans asked most of the questions of Pollet, Cann and Valdez. Council member Pete von Reichbauer said if he wasn't going to ask questions and just act as a "rubber stamp" then he might as well not attend this morning's meeting. Democrats appeared to have their minds made up, based on their dearth of questions, to appoint Pollet.

Republicans Kathy Lambert, Reagan Dunn and von Reichbauer questioned the three candidates about transportation, education, nuclear waste, initiatives, the state budget and more. Lambert asked Pollet a question the others didn't get: could he provide examples of working "across the aisle" with Republicans? Pollet pointed to his work as an officer for the state Coalition for Open Government, whose president is former GOP state representative Toby Nixon.

Councilmember Bob Ferguson noted that after he won a bitter Democratic primary race against Cynthia Sullivan in 2003, Pollet -- a Sullivan supporter -- was among the first to congratulate him. "I always appreciate the approach of reaching out to people on the other side of hard-fought campaigns," Ferguson said about Pollet.

The state constitution spells out the process to fill a vacant state legislative seat. It calls for the party committee of the party that held the now-open seat to forward three names to the county council, which then makes the final decision by a majority vote.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

No comments have been posted to this article.

Recent entries




Browse the archives

December 2011

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011


Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.