Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published Monday, April 2, 2012 at 4:34 PM

  • Share:
           
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Gregoire calls special election to replace Inslee

Washington state will hold a special election in November to replace former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee for just one month - an election expected to be confusing for voters, burdensome for candidates and costly for the state.

Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
No comments have been posted to this article.
Start the conversation >

advertising

OLYMPIA, Wash. —

Washington state will hold a special election in November to replace former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee for just one month - an election expected to be confusing for voters, burdensome for candidates and costly for the state.

Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire and Republican Secretary of State Sam Reed said Monday that the state is required to hold a vote to fill a vacant seat under the U.S. Constitution. Inslee resigned from his seat last month to run for governor.

The November election will be particularly confusing to voters because Congress is also transitioning to its new district boundaries. The special election will be focused on the old 1st District boundaries that Inslee represented. Voters will also be deciding who will represent the new 1st District.

Gregoire and Reed said they had explored the possibility of having a special election under the new 1st District boundaries to keep things more simple. But that would have meant some residents would briefly have two representatives in Congress while others would have none.

Gregoire said it's also important that the state have representation in December because it's possible some critical issues will come up for a vote shortly after the election. She said, for example, that Congress could vote on whether state sales taxes are deductible on federal income tax filings - a key issue for residents of Washington. She also expects Congress to consider a federal solution to Internet tax collection.

"There's no question in the end it will emerge as a tight vote," Gregoire said. "We need every vote."

The candidate who is chosen to replace Inslee will serve just one month until the new person is seated in January. Reed's office says it will cost the state an extra $770,000 that will be sent to the counties.

Inslee has said he delayed his resignation to save the state money. Had he resigned before March 6, the state would have had to call a special election that would have been held during the summer to fill his seat for the remainder of the term.

Reed said the delay will save the state money since officials can now attach the special election to the regular one instead of holding it on its own.

Reed said the state will work on educating voters about the confusing ballot. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 8 while the final vote would take place during the regular general election in November.

The filing fee for the race is about $1,700.

Gregoire said the election will also be difficult for candidates. A candidate who wants to run for both 1st District slots would have to manage separate campaigns to collect donations and account for spending.

"Wow. That's a challenge," Gregoire said.

Inslee represented the 1st District, which currently includes Seattle's northern suburbs, starting in 1999.

---

Baker can be reached at http://twitter.com/MikeBakerAP

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The Seattle Times photographs

Seattle space needle and mountains

Purchase The Seattle Times images


Advertising