Inslee's House seat may go to voters to finish term

Mar 15, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. — U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee's decision to resign from Congress to focus full time on his gubernatorial race has triggered questions that have state elections officials scrambling to determine if they need to hold a special election on the same day as the regular November election to fill the final month of his term.

Katie Blinn, the co-director of elections in the state, said Wednesday she's currently in discussions with the U.S. Committee on House Administration, which has oversight of federal elections. She says the committee raised questions with the state after Inslee announced he would leave his 1st Congressional District seat later this month.

Blinn says that because it's a redistricting year, it's possible that the state may have to run two elections for the seat on Nov. 6 — one to finish out the final month of December for Inslee's term based on old boundaries, and another for the new two-year term that starts in January 2013 under new boundaries.