Representative John Koster to step down

State Representative John Koster is leaving the Legislature next month to lead the County Road Administration Board (CRAB) as its new Executive Director. CRAB is responsible for distributing funding for road projects across the state. Former Executive Director Jay Weber is retiring after 19 years in the position.

Koster will start his new position on September 1, 2017. He represented the 39th Legislative District for 3 full terms from 1995 to 2000 before serving on the Snohomish County Council for 12 years. Koster was reelected to the House in 2016, serving as Ranking Member on the State Government, Elections & Information Technology Committee and sat on the Capital Budget and Rules Committees.

With his seat left vacant, Republican precinct committee officers will nominate three people to fill the position until the November 2018 election. Council members and commissioners from Snohomish, Skagit and King counties will collectively choose one nominee.

The Everett Herald has reported that Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick and former state Representative Elizabeth Scott of Monroe might be interested in the appointment.

Whoever is appointed has a strong chance of holding the seat in 2018. Koster won the 2016 election with over 60 percent of the vote. In 2014, incumbent Elizabeth Scott beat out Democrat opponent Charles Jensen with nearly 63 percent of the vote.

The Morning Wire: Keeping you informed on Washington politics, policy, and political economy