Senator Kirk Pearson takes U.S. Department of Agriculture job


Skagit Valley Herald published November 7th by Brandon Stone

After 17 years in the state Legislature, Sen. Kirk Pearson (R-Monroe) will leave office for a position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

He starts as the state director of rural development on Monday, one day after his last day in the state Senate, said Bill Bruch, chairman of the Skagit County Republican Party.

Pearson represents the 39th Legislative District, which consists of eastern Skagit and Snohomish counties, and northeast King County.

A spokesman for Pearson's office said Pearson would need approval from the Department of Agriculture before speaking to the media.

County governing boards from Skagit, Snohomish and King counties will choose Pearson's replacement as they did when state Rep. John Koster left office in August.

Bruch said the process of replacing Pearson should go faster than it did with Koster, since the same procedure will be used.  "We've got the learning curve down", he said.

Elizabeth Scott, a former state representative of the 39th District, said she is interested in being appointed to Pearson's seat.

She was passed over in September for Koster's seat when the three county governing boards chose Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick instead, even though Scott was the Republican Party's top choice.

At that time, Bruch said the party's top choice is usually appointed.

Scott said her experience legislating in the minority party may be helpful in the Senate if the Republicans lose their majority in today's special elections.

Bruch said he was happy to hear Scott is again interested in taking office, saying her experience in the state Legislature will again make her the strongest candidate.

"Our very first choice will be Elizabeth Scott", Bruch said.  "Anyone else would be making a big jump".

He said Pearson was a strong Trump supporter, adding that the Trump administration had been eying him for a while.

Bruch said he anticipates a replacement being named between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


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