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Six candidates file for appointment to 23rd District state House seat

Six candidates – including two from Bainbridge Island – have filed for appointment to the 23rd District state House seat to succeed Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, who was appointed to the state Senate in July.

The deadline for applications to be submitted to the Kitsap County Democratic Central Committee was Friday, 4 p.m. The applicants are:

• Drew Hansen of Bainbridge Island, a lawyer and board member of the 23rd Legislative District Democrats.

• Houston C. Wade, 30, Bainbridge Island.

• Holly Mortlock of Bremerton, legislative assistant to state Rep. Eileen Cody, D-Seattle.

• Ed Stern of Poulsbo, a city councilman since 1998.

• Jesse Hudson Cockerham of Kingston, a Kitsap Democratic Party precinct committee officer who graduated from Evergreen State College with degrees in history and performing arts.

• Peter Stockwell of Silverdale, a retired Central Kitsap middle school teacher and former member of the Washington Education Association board.

“I would have been happier with more applicants,” Democratic Prty chairman Mike Arnold said. “I actually thought the vacancy would generate more excitement. Maybe that’s just me because I’ve got my head in the game."

Bainbridge City Council member Hilary Franz had announced an interest in the post after Rolfes was appointed to succeed Phil Rockefeller as the 23rd Distict's senator, but changed her mind. Franz is still on the council, but decided against seeking a second term earlier this year.

The Kitsap County Democratic Central Committee will hold a special caucus at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Kitsap County Event Center, located across the street from the fairgrounds. Precinct committee officers will select and rank three nominees, then forward their names to the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners, which will make the appointment.

Democrats wil make the recommendation because the office had been held by a Democrat.

The appointee will have to run in 2012 for a full term. Members of the House and Senate receive $42,106 a year. House members serve two-year terms; there are 98 representatives from 49 districts. Senators serve four-year terms; there are 49 senators from 49 districts.

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