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Sen. Pflug drops out, Republicans steamed
Washington state Sen. Cheryl Pflug stirred up contention in the Republican party after she accepted a lucrative appointment from Governor Christine Gregoire the Monday after filings closed for her seat.
The last minute announcement ensured a strong Republican candidate wouldn’t challenge a well-known Issaquah businessman and city councilmember, Mark Mullet.
“We got Pflug-ed,” said Kirby Wilbur, chair of the Washington Republicans, who hopes to coin the new word among Olympia politicians. “I think it’s deliberate. It was irresponsible at best and unconscionable at worst.”
Pflug, however, insisted that the timing wasn’t intentional on her part or the governor’s, she said. “There is no arguing with people who just want to hate.”
She added that it would be better if the senate is more evenly split, anyway, because some of the best legislation happens when politicians have to cross party lines.
She was among the Senate Republicans that formed a bipartisan coalition for the budget process this year. She also crossed the line to vote for the contentious gay marriage bill, something she’s wanted for a few years.
Wilbur, however, said the governor secured her vote with promise of the position, a $92,500-a-year spot on the Growth Management Hearings Board.
A single mother and recent law graduate, Pflug was enticed by the higher pay and regular schedule, she said. She’s served on the senate for 14 years, earning only a fraction of her new salary.
At the end of the appointment term, she’ll also have been with the state long enough to start collecting a pension, a figure based on her most recent salary.
For Pflug, it was not only a chance to grow her career, but to continue working on issues important to her region.
Republican Brad Toft from Snoqualmie will be facing Councilmember Mullet, a Democrat. Toft is not as strong as Pflug, but Wilbur thinks Republicans could still maintain the seat.
Mullet is much more liberal than he’s portrayed himself so far, he said. “By time we get through with Mr. Mullet, I think we’ll have good chance.”
Whose running for Issaquah and Sammamish:
Washington 5th District
Mark Mullet - Democrat
Brad Toft - Republican
State Representative Position 1
Jay Rodne (incumbent) - Republican
State Representative Position 2
Chad Magendanz - Republican
Ryan Dean Burkett
David Spring - Democrat
Congressional District 8
Dave Reichert (incumbent) - Republican
Karen Porterfield - Democrat
Keith Swank - Republican
Ernest Huber - Republican
Keith Arnold - Democrat