Island County Commissioners with new Senator Ron Muzzall. Left to right: Commissioner Janet St. Clair, Senator Ron Muzzall, Commissioner Jill Johnson, Commissioner Helen Price Johnson.
Ron Muzzall Appointed As New Senator
(OCT 18 - MOUNT VERNON) County Commissioners and Councilors from Island, Skagit, and Snohomish Counties unanimously selected Ron Muzzall to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Senator Barbara Bailey.
Republican Precinct Committee Officers had nominated Mr. Muzzall, Christine Cribb, and Sara Hyatt for the position at a meeting on Oct. 3. Since that time, the county officials had sent questionnaires and conducted phone interviews with the three nominees. During the Oct. 18 meeting, the commissioners and councilors questioned each nominee individually, first Mr. Muzzall, then Mrs. Cribb, and finally Mrs. Hyatt.
In accordance with state law, each county had equal weighting, receiving three votes. For Island and Skagit Counties, which are both governed by a three-member board of commissioners, this meant that each commissioner received one vote. For Snohomish County, each of the five members of the County Council received .6 votes.
Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson (D, Clinton), who had declared as a candidate for the state senate seat in next year's election, took part in the questioning, but then delegated her vote to her fellow Island County Commissioners, Jill Johnson (R, Oak Harbor) and Janet St. Clair (D, Camano Island). Price Johnson then left the Commissioners' Room. Johnson and St. Clair thus cast 1.5 votes each.
Mr. Muzzall, the Manager of 3 Sisters Family Farm, was sworn in by Skagit County Superior Judge David A. Svaren after the meeting. Sen. Muzzall will serve the remainder of Sen. Bailey's term, which concludes in Dec. 2020.