Thursday, April 14, 2011

Commission to pick senate seat

I think by now – even though it just broke – most folks (or a lot of folks) know that Senate Speak Pro Tempore Jamie Woodson is leaving office.

That means the county commission – for the second time in roughly six months - will appoint someone to serve on the state senate.

But, it's the real deal this time.

It's not like when they picked Steve Hill to serve as a seat warmer until the election. (Hill replaced Tim Burchett who stepped down to become county mayor. The new person will serve through 2012.

On a side note, it also means the local Legislative delegation will have two freshman senators on it.

The commission, according to chairman Mike Hammond, will make the appointment within 120 days of Woodson's official resignation. That means when she turns in her paperwork. Not from today. She's still sticking around for a little while.

The body will take applications, hold a public hearing then make an appointment.

I figure there are some mouths drooling for that job – and kick ass health care – right now.

Let the rumors start.

Update: The commission can take applications early, so someone is ready to step in the day after Woodson leaves. Also, the governor will have to call a special election, so technically this person could also be a seat warmer. But, we'll see.

Update II: Link to state law about special elections.


Brian Paone said...

Does it have to be someone who isn't currently in an elected office, or are sitting officials eligible?

If the first... I'd say send Finbarr Saunders, but there's no way in hell a Dem's going to get the seat. So... Frank Leuthold? (Does he even want the job?)

But if the second (and I'd prefer that, even if it meant two appointments), either Steve Hall or Bill Dunn would be suitable replacements. Sure, Hall's colorful and Dunn tends to run uncomfortably close to ultra-right on rare occasions, but either would take the job quite seriously and both have the experience needed to take over a post mid-term.

But either way, congrats to Ms. Woodson. There's a reason she kept getting re-elected, and it had nothing to do with politics. Our loss is SCORE's gain.

Mike Donila said...

They just have to be from the district and not a felon from what I understand.

Finbarr actually wouldn't be a bad choice. But, you're right - he's not getting it.

Brian Paone said...

Ah, good. Hall or Dunn, then. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but overall the two best choices I can think of that actually have a shot.

Anonymous said...

You guys ain't thinking big enough on this. Nearly all the state senators hold a full time job someplace else. Let's give Burchett the seat back. Someone else can attend meetings for him. Or let's give the seat to his wife who seems to be unemployed according to Tim's state disclosure documents. The Dunn or Hall suggestion leads to the question who would replace them as Representatives? I vote Burchett or his wife!

Anonymous said...

Burchett's wife isn't old enough. #winning

Brian Paone said...

If Stacey Campfield can be a rep for as long as he was and not cost any lasting damage, I think filling a potential Representative vacancy shouldn't be obtrusive.

But that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Hall cant run/be appointed. He doesn't live in the district.

Brian Paone said...

Ah, you're right. Dunn does, I think. So I guess I'd go with him.

Hall will probably be there soon enough on his own. If he even wants to.