John Smith chosen to replace Morton on Senate

Colville farmer chosen appointed by county commissioners

OLYMPIA – John Smith, a Colville area farmer was appointed to take the place of retired state Senator Bob Morton for the Seventh Legislative District.

Smith was selected on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2012 by the county commissioners from the five counties that are partially or completely within the Seventh Legislative District, which includes those from Okanogan County.

Okanogan County Commissioner Jim Detro was one of the 15 county commissioners in attendance at the meeting held in Colville to chose a new senator.

“Although the county commissioners didn’t cast a unanimous vote as there were two conflicting votes, I was among those who voted in favor of the selection,” Detro said.

Detro went on to explain that Smith took the time seek out each individual commissioner to have a “sit down” and answer any questions they might have.

“He’s very well founded and articulate,” said Detro. “Although he doesn’t have a lot of name recognition he has ran some campaigns and is active in the party.

“Smith is involved in agriculture and has some other business interests. He took the farmers market, which was failing in Colville, and brought it back and privatized it.”

Sen. Mark Schoesler, leader of the state’s Republican senators, said last Thursday that he is looking forward to serving with Smith in the state Senate.

“It is an honor and a pleasure to welcome John to the Senate,” said Schoesler (9th District). “I have every confidence he will represent northeast Washington as effectively and faithfully as Senator Morton; I also appreciate that he is willing to step up and make the commitments that go with being a citizen legislator, especially so far from the Capitol. John is joining the Senate at an important time in its history, as we strive for a new level of bipartisan cooperation. I look forward to working with him.”

Morton officially stepped down Monday after 22 years of legislative service. Smith will be sworn in Wednesday, Jan. 9.

The 2013 legislative session begins Jan. 14 in Olympia.