Veteran politician Dino Rossi appointed to state Senate for about 4 months

Former Republican state Sen. Dino Rossi, who has run unsuccessfully twice for the governor’s office and once for the U.S. Senate, was appointed Monday to the vacant state Senate seat in the 5th Legislative District on the Eastside.

The vacancy came after the resignation of state Sen. Cheryl Pflug, R-Maple Valley, who was appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire to the Washington Growth Management Hearings Board.

Pflug withdrew her candidacy for re-election, as board members cannot also serve in the Legislature.

Pflug was one of four Republicans who crossed party lines to support legislation legalizing gay marriage earlier this year.

On Monday, the King County Council appointed Rossi as her caretaker replacement in the state Senate.

“Dino’s familiarity with the issues and concerns of the 5th District will serve the residents well,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert of Redmond said. “It is fortunate that the former state senator is able to return to his seat in this caretaker capacity. The citizens of the 5th District know and respect Dino, and they will continue having an experienced leader to represent them with any problems they face.”

Rossi served in the state Senate from 1997 to 2003. After running for governor in 2004 and 2008 and the U.S. Senate in 2010, Rossi returned to the private sector, joining the Coast Equity Partners real estate firm.

Rossi will serve in a caretaker capacity until the November general election. Once the election is certified by the state, the candidate elected by the voters of the district will take Rossi’s place in the state Senate.

“I’m very humbled for the opportunity to be able to serve the citizens of the 5th Legislative District once again,” said Rossi. “During the next four months, if any constituent needs assistance involving the state of Washington, please contact my office.”

Rossi will be sworn-in Tuesday in Olympia inside the Senate Chambers.