What does it feel like to be a lawmaker for two months when the Legislature is out of session and the political parties are both out campaigning in advance of an election?
Retired Navy Capt. Doug Roulstone is about to find out.
Gov. Jay Inslee Friday appointed Roulstone to fill the vacant state House seat from Snohomish County’s 44th Legislative District, according to a press statement from the governor’s office. Roulstone steps into the seat opened up by the resignation of Republican Rep. Mike Hope in July.
Hope stepped down after it was revealed that he doesn’t actually have a permanent residence in Snohomish County and was planning to move back to his native Ohio.
Roulstone will keep the seat figuratively warm until the general election is certified Nov. 25, according to the statement.
Republican Mark Harmsworth and Democrat Mike Wilson are both running to replace Hope, according to the state Secretary of State’s candidate list.
The Snohomish County Council had first dibs on filling the seat, but when council members didn’t act, the governor was then required to appoint someone. Since the position by law needed to be filled by a Republican, the 44th District Republican Committee suggested three potential candidates to the council, including Roulstone, according to the statement.
Roulstone, however, was apparently not the Republican Party’s first choice. Per the governor’s statement:
“Inslee was swayed in part by Roulstone’s interview with the Snohomish County Council. In that interview Sept. 15, Roulstone said that while another nominee was the best qualified and the party’s first choice, ‘If you should choose me I will work very hard for the people. I will be basically non-partisan in how I work and I’ll do the best I can.’ ”