Top state Senate budget writer may land new political job

By: - May 30, 2023 12:05 am

State Sen. Christine Rolfes in February 2020 at the state Capitol in Olympia. (Legislative Support Services)

An influential state senator will make her case for a new political gig Wednesday morning.

Sen. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, is among three finalists to fill a vacancy on the Kitsap County Commission.

She, Brynn Felix, general counsel for Peninsula Community Health Services and Greg Nance, founder and chief executive officer of Run Far Foundation are vying for the Commission’s District 1 seat. All three are Democrats.

The position opened when Commissioner Rob Gelder, a Democrat, stepped down May 23. Whoever is appointed will serve the remainder of his term, which runs through the end of 2024.

Commissioners Charlotte Garrido and Katie Walters – the board’s two remaining members – will make the decision.

They will interview each candidate starting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Following interviews, they are slated to deliberate in executive session. An appointment may not be made until a future board meeting, according to the commission website. The next scheduled meeting is June 5.

Rolfes enters with the most political experience. A former Bainbridge City Council member, she served three terms in the state House before winning her Senate seat in 2012. She represents the 23rd Legislative District, which includes the Kitsap County communities of Hansville, Kingston, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island, Keyport, Silverdale, and East Bremerton, 

Since 2018, she has chaired the Senate Ways and Means Committee, making her the chamber’s lead writer of the state’s two-year budget.

She has said if she is appointed to the commission, she will not serve in both offices.

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Jerry Cornfield
Jerry Cornfield

Jerry Cornfield joined the Standard after 20 years covering Olympia statehouse news for The Everett Herald. Earlier in his career, he worked for daily and weekly papers in Santa Barbara, California.