Efforts to fill Lewis County Commissioner’s seat attract the attention of six Republicans so far

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Selections: County Republicans to pick three finalists for vacancy following Gary Stamper’s death

By Eric Rosane / [email protected]

So far, six Lewis County Republicans have applied for the seat of the County Commissioners Council left vacant following the death of Commissioner Gary Stamper.

Lewis County Republican State Committee member Ron Averill debriefed the two remaining commissioners at their regular business meeting on Tuesday. County Republicans will call a special meeting of the officers of its precinct committees (PCOs) next week to vote for three candidates who will be considered for the seat by Commissioners Lindsey Pollock and Sean Swope, both also Republicans.

The preferred Republican candidate of the commissioners will have to be selected unanimously and before the 60-day deadline which began on September 29. Otherwise, it will be up to Governor Jay Inslee to choose from among the three candidates.

Averill said the six nominees who took their names into consideration include former Commissioner Lee Grose, Onalaska Fire Marshal Kevin Emerson, Onalaska Alliance founding member Harry Bhagwandin, Mike Hadaller and PCOs Linda Williams and Frank Corbin.

The candidate appointed by the County Council of Commissioners will serve the last year of Stamper’s term.

Averill said that while they have asked candidates to submit their nominations for the Lewis County Republicans Board of Directors by October 16, it is possible that other candidates may surface ahead of the special meeting of the constituency scheduled for October 26.

Candidates will need a first and second nomination by the registered BCPs to be presented for one floor vote.

“This does not mean that if someone who shows up, attends the meeting and is nominated for the floor vote will not be counted, but they are the ones who submitted nominations,” Averill told the council. county commissioners.

Grose, a former county commissioner, is probably the best-known name on the shortlist of candidates.

He first served the eastern county for two terms before retiring in 2014 from the council of county commissioners, which led to Stamper’s tenure at headquarters. He is currently PCO of the Big Bottom precinct, which surrounds Packwood.

Averill also served his first term with Grose on the county council of commissioners.

After his stint on the board, Grose remained busy as a member of the Lewis County Planning Commission and a board member of the nonprofit Destination Packwood.

Kevin Emerson is a former commissioner of Lewis County Fire District 1 in Onalaska and was also commissioner of Lewis County Water District 2.

Harry Bhagwandin is a founding member of the Onalaska Alliance who ran for county commissioner as a Republican in the 2014 primary elections. He was also an independent candidate during the failed charter measure. autonomy of 2018.

A farmer, according to a previous Chronicle article, Bhagwandin was also chairman of the Chehalis River Basin Land Trust and a member of the county housing tax advisory committee.

Linda Williams in 2017 ran for Lewis County Clerk as a Republican. She had also previously run as an independent candidate and served as a PCO, although her information is not currently listed on the party’s website.

Frank Corbin, a Republican PCO who lives along Kirkland Road in Chehalis, is a retired veteran. He had previously served as a pastor and worked for the TSA before moving to Lewis County, and had served as a city councilor in Cascade Locks, Oregon.

Michael Hadaller and his family are long-time residents of Mossyrock.


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