The search for a replacement for Sen. Bob McCaslin in Olympia continues, and Spokane County commissioners have stated they will stick to the slow-and-steady approach.
Meanwhile, the 30-year legislator – who is still a member of the Spokane Valley City Council – is recovering from an operation in which his right leg was amputated last week. The 84-year-old McCaslin had been hospitalized at Deaconess Medical Center for circulatory problems.
On Monday, Mayor Tom Towey said McCaslin is “doing well” and intends to continue his duties on the council.
“He looked good,” Towey said. “In fact, he looked better than he has in a long time. It’s nice to see some color back in his face.”
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, however, Deputy Mayor Gary Schimmels characterized McCaslin’s progress as “tentative” and the ex-senator was taking it day-by-day.
“We will see what happens,” Schimmels said.
Last week, the commissioners – all Republicans – announced they would not necessarily rubber-stamp Matt Shea, 4th District representative and first-choice of precinct committee officers (PCOs).
Jeff Baxter and Roy Murry are the No. 2 and 3 choices, respectively.
The commissioners have notified the nominees that additional information is to be submitted to the clerk of the board no later than Feb. 2 at noon. The commissioners want resumes, biographies, personal statements as to why their seeking the position, completed F1 forms (as required by the Public Disclosure Commission), statements of qualification and any other useful information from each candidate.
The county is also conducting background checks on each nominee, which will consist of search for public information that’s available on the Internet, Superior Court Management Information System and the records division of Spokane County-area law-enforcement agencies.
The commissioners said they plan to make their selection by March 4. At that time the current 105-day legislative session will be 2 months old.
Voters will make their choice for 4th District senator in November during the general election and again in 2012, when McCaslin’s current term expires.
McCaslin, who had been a state senator for 30 years, announced at the start of the year that he would not be returning to Olympia for health reasons.