By Marcy Stamper
The Okanogan County commissioners joined their counterparts from four other eastern Washington counties in unanimously electing Shelly Short (R-Addy) to replace Brian Dansel (R-Republic) for the state Senate on Monday (Jan. 30).
Short will represent the 7th District, which includes northeastern Okanogan County. Short has represented the 7th District in the state House for four terms. The other four counties in the district are Ferry, Pend Oreille, Stevens and Spokane.
During her time in the House, Short played a leading role in raising concerns about wolves and conflicts with humans and livestock, according to her biography.
Dansel, who was elected to the Senate in a special election in 2013, resigned last week to take a job special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. President Donald Trump has nominated former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue to agriculture post. He has yet to be confirmed.
Dansel said earlier this month, in an interview with The Spokesman-Review, that he hopes to be a voice for more logging and mining on land owned by the U.S. Forest Service.
The appointment of Short means that the Republican-led coalition in the Senate once again has a 25-to-24 majority. Democrats control the state House by 50 to 48.
Short will have to run in a special election in November to fill the remainder of Dansel’s term.
The county commissioners chose from three candidates selected by 7th District Republican precinct-committee officers from the to fill Dansel’s term. In addition to Short, the precinct-committee officers chose Jacquelin Maycumber, Short’s legislative assistant, and John Smith, who was appointed in 2013 to the Senate seat Short now holds. Smith served for one session before losing to Dansel.
Now the county commissioners have to name a replacement for Short in the House. Maycumber and Smith are in the running for that post, along with Larry Stickney, a conservative activist who led a campaign to roll back domestic-partnership benefits some eight years ago.