Skagit Valley Herald published November 8th, by Brandon Stone
Sedro-Woolley Mayor Keith Wagoner is setting his sights on the state Senate, hoping to fill the seat left vacant by Sen. Kirk Pearson (R-Monroe).
Wagoner has joined former State Rep. Elizabeth Scott, former Monroe Mayor Robert Zimmerman and Republican party activist Georgene Faries in announcing interest in the position.
Wagoner was elected mayor two years ago and served five years on the City Council before that.
"I think I have as good a chance as anybody," he said.
Pearson is resigning from the Senate to take a job in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His final day in office is Sunday.
Pearson has represented the 39th District-which includes Sedro-Woolley and eastern Skagit County plus parts of east Snohomish and northeast King Counties-for 17 years between his time in the House and Senate.
During that time, Wagoner said he developed a respect for Pearson's collaborative style of politics.
With Republicans projected to lose their majority in the state Senate following Tuesday's election, Wagoner said it would be beneficial for the Republican Party to appoint someone who will continue Pearson's tradition of collaboration.
"I learned from Senator Pearson, (and) I'd like to follow in his footsteps, " Wagoner said.
To get the seat, Wagoner will have to receive one of three nominations from the three Republican Party organizations in Skagit, Snohomish and King counties, then get selected in a vote by the three county governing boards.
As a precinct committee officer, Wagoner said he supported Scott's bid to replace John Koster after Koster left his state House seat in the 39th District in August.
Wagoner said he was surprised that Scott wasn't selected, given she was the top choice of the three county Republican parties.
If the elected officials again choose someone other than the part's top choice, Wagoner said he wants his name in the mix as an alternative.
Skagit County Republican Party Chairman Bill Bruch said he's heard about two more people interested in the seat, but they have yet to announce. He said local Republican precinct committee officers are scheduled to select their top three choices November 30th.