State Relations

This Week in Olympia: Gov-Elect Hires Senior Staff, State Senate Appointments

Gov-Elect Jay Inslee announced three senior staff hires this week.

Jerry Cornfield reports for the Everett Herald:

First up, Ted Sturdevant. He is now the director of the Department of Ecology and will become the executive director for legislative affairs and policy for Inslee. It’s likely he will be one of the key liaisons between the new governor and the 147 men and women in the Legislature.

 

Next up, David Postman. He’s a former journalist who covered state government and politics for the Tacoma News Tribune and Seattle Times. After leaving the Times, he served as director of communications and media for Paul Allen’s Vulcan, Inc. For Inslee, he will be the executive director of communications. This job will likely put him in the room for strategy sessions and put him in charge of translating Inslee in a way the public and reporters can understand.

 

Finally, Joby Shimomura. She and Inslee go way back and she is one of his most trusted advisers. She managed Inslee’s campaign for governor and a couple of his congressional campaigns as well. When he was in Congress, she served as his chief of staff from 1999-2005. She will serve as senior advisor, a position no doubt responsible for making sure he’s in a good position to win a second term in 2016.

In a news release on the announcement, the Gov-Elect’s transition office also noted a re-organization is underway in the policy shop:

At Governor-Elect Inslee’s direction, the Office of the Governor will be reorganized on January 16th. Constituent Services and Correspondence will report directly to the Executive Director of Communications, and the Office of Legislative Affairs will merge with the Office of Policy to create a single office under the Executive Director for Legislative Affairs and Policy. The reorganization will yield a net reduction of between 4 and 8 positions.

In other Olympia news, commissioners from several Eastern Washington counties elected a replacement to fill the Senate Seat being vacated by retiring State Senator Bob Morton.

Colville-area farmer and businessman John Smith will succeed Morton, as reported by the Spokesman Review.

One State Senate vacancy remains in the 26th District seat vacated by now Congressman Derek Kilmer.

The Peninsula Gateway reports on the top contenders for that appointment, which has not yet been scheduled, but is expected before session begins on Jan. 14.