Norma Smith picked to replace Strow for House seat

Norma Smith - file photo
Norma Smith
— image credit: file photo

Norma Smith of Clinton got the nod Tuesday to fill Chris Strow’s vacant seat in the state House of Representatives.

Strow resigned last year from his job as 10th District representative to spend more time with his family. Smith, a Republican party insider, was unanimously picked during a meeting of GOP leaders at the Snohomish County administration building in Everett.

“The thing that captured my attention was her commitment to the group, that she would maintain a bipartisan manner and be proactive,”

said Island County Commissioner Phil Bakke.

Bakke said he was impressed with Smith’s

stance on resolving the problem with the Port Townsend-Keystone ferry run. Car service on the route was canceled just before Thanksgiving.

“We have essentially a non-functioning highway. That is a major issue for Whidbey Island, the broken highway,” Bakke said.

Smith is no stranger to politics. She served as a legislative assistant to Congressman Jack Metcalf, and ran unsuccessfully against Rick Larsen in 2002 for the 2nd District seat in the U.S. House.

Before that, she ran against incumbent Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen in 2000 for state Senate and lost.

Bakke said Smith would be able to immediately tackle the issues facing the 10th District, even as a freshman-appointed representative of the minority party.

“Of the three candidates, she was the most prepared to fill the seat,” Bakke said. “It was a quick decision; less than

10 minutes with no discussion.”

Smith was chosen over Joel Edmonds of Savannah and Edward Drum of Oak Harbor by Island and Skagit county commissioners and members of the Snohomish County Council.

Smith said she is looking forward to hearing from constituents.

“It’s an honor and a privilege to receive such wide support from the folks in my district, as well as from my fellow legislators and local community leaders,” Smith said in a press release Thursday.

“While I may be new to the Legislature, I’ve been working to create solutions to issues facing the 10th District throughout my professional career and through volunteer efforts. I’m now ready to jump in with both feet and find solutions at the legislative level,” she added.

Smith began her legislative training in Olympia on Friday.

Spencer Webster can be reached at 221-5300 or swebster@southwhidbey

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