Democrats Move Swiftly to Fill Seat Abruptly Abandoned by Jim Jacks

by lewwaters

While there appears to remain a news black-out on just what brought about the sudden and abrupt resignation of Democrat 49th legislative district representative Jim Jacks Friday, I applaud the Democrats in Clark County for moving quickly to replace him and fill the seat.

From the Clark County Democrats web page;

ILWU Hall is located at: 1205 Ingalls St. Vancouver, WA 98660

The process will be just like when Republican Richard Curtis resigned amid scandal in 2007 where several interested candidates first appeared before the PCO’s of the 18th legislative district. 3 Finalists were chosen to appear before county commissioners for final selection.

Unlike in 2007, since the 49th is wholly contained in one county, only Clark County commissioners Steve Stuart, Tom Mielke and Marc Boldt will select the final candidate to replace Jacks. Cowlitz County commissioners took part in the selection of Jaime Herrera in 2007 since the 18th legislative district is part of both counties.

Although Democrats retain the majority in the house even with Jack’s resignation, it is important that his seat be filled in short order to maintain residents of the 49th legislative district the full representation entitled.

Some questions have been raised as to why only a Democrat can be chosen to replace a resigning Democrat, as prescribed by state law. The question having more to do with the “top two primary system” we are now under that wasn’t in effect when Curtis resigned.

As far as I can determine, Article II section 15 of the state constitution on filling vacated seats takes precedence.

“That the person appointed to fill the vacancy must be from the same legislative district, county, or county commissioner or council district and the same political party as the legislator or partisan county elective officer whose office has been vacated, and shall be one of three persons who shall be nominated by the county central committee of that party…”

I don’t foresee any legal challenges, but it might be interesting to watch. Maybe that wasn’t considered when the state moved to the “top two system.”

Jacks’ abrupt departure remains a mystery as to exactly why. The Capital Campus is awash with allegations of “inappropriate conduct” and unlike scandals of the past involving Republicans, media appears to have imposed a black-out on whatever it is they know.

While I applaud Democrats for moving swiftly to replace Jacks, efforts to hide from the public the actual reason this came about so suddenly will do them no favors. Both parties have their officials caught with their “pants down” so to speak and constituents are entitled to know what Jacks was caught doing.

Claiming “personal family reason that I don’t want discussed in public” and the willingness of the media to go along doesn’t help anybody. The truth will come out and the closer it gets to elections, the more it will hurt the parties’ chances.

I hope the Democrats select a good replacement for Jacks, but at the same time, I encourage them to end this cover-up and be transparent in the matter.

3 Comments to “Democrats Move Swiftly to Fill Seat Abruptly Abandoned by Jim Jacks”

  1. Democrats as a party aren’t known for their “integrity”, Lew.

  2. That’s why I call them out, Jack.

    If they come clean and end this cover-up, by election time it will be a small matter relegated to history. If they continue to stonewall, it’s going to be a big campaign issue.

    Their choice.

  3. “Mike” Heywood used to have John Laird’s job of “rabble-rousing” at The Columbian.

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