Seven show interest in seat vacated by Jacks

By Stephanie Rice, Columbian Vancouver city government reporter

Published:

Updated: March 28, 2011, 9:07 PM

 

A nascent field of seven potential Democratic hopefuls attended an informational meeting Monday to scope out a seat in the state Legislature.

None of the candidates at the meeting wanted their names released yet, said Mike Heywood, chairman of the 49th Legislative District Democratic Central Committee.

The committee is in the process of identifying potential candidates to succeed State Rep. Jim Jacks, D-Vancouver, who resigned last week. The law allows the political party of the legislator who resigned to choose the potential candidates. The county commissioners within the district, in this case Clark County, make the appointment.

The process was last used in Southwest Washington several years ago when Republican Jaime Herrera, now Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, was selected for a vacant 18th District House seat.

Heywood said the committee has to give 10 days’ notice before voting on its nominees. Therefore, the vote will be taken at a meeting 8 p.m. Monday, April 11, at the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union hall, 1205 Ingalls St.

Heywood said the 25 Democrats elected to serve as precinct committee officers in the 49th District will choose which three people should be suggested to the Clark County commissioners.

He said he’s checking with the state to find out if four people who’ve been appointed to serve as precinct committee officers are eligible to vote next Monday.

Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart said Monday that once commissioners receive the list of names, they will act quickly to interview the candidates and make the appointment.

Jacks, 41, said last week that he resigned for personal reasons that he did not want to discuss publicly.

Jacks was elected in November to a second two-year term.

The term expires in 2012.

The appointee will have to run in November’s general election to keep the seat.

Heywood said Monday afternoon that the only person who has confirmed to him that he will seek the appointment is Jeremy Zegas, 28.

Temple Lentz, 35, said Monday she’s considering applying for the appointment.

Zegas and Lentz have both been involved in local campaigns and are graduates of Leadership Clark County, a 10-month program designed to help people become effective, engaged members of the community.

Applicants must be Democrats who live in the 49th District.

The 49th District covers much of Vancouver west of Interstate 205 and some areas north of the city, including Hazel Dell.

To apply for the appointment, contact Heywood at 360-771-0124 or mikewrit@hotmail.com.

Stephanie Rice: 360-735-4508 or stephanie.rice@columbian.com.