Benton County Commissioners to elect Delvin's replacement for state Senate

By Michelle Dupler, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 26, 2013 

Benton County commissioners will meet Monday to select a new state senator to send to Olympia.

They've called a special meeting for 2:30 p.m. Monday at the Benton County Justice Center, 7122 W. Okanogan Place, Kennewick, to choose one of three possible replacements for Jerome Delvin, who was elected as a Benton commissioner in November.

Benton County Republicans on Jan. 17 narrowed a field of six applicants to state Reps. Larry Haler, R-Richland, Brad Klippert, R-Kennewick, and Kennewick Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Brown.

Delvin told the Herald on Friday that he's leaning toward one particular candidate, but wouldn't give a name. He gets to vote for his own replacement since he already has been sworn in on the county commission.

"I want to see where the other two (commissioners) are at and what they're thinking," Delvin said.

He said his choice so far is based on his experience in the Legislature and the qualities he knows are needed to succeed, but he's keeping his mind open if Commissioners Shon Small or Jim Beaver make other arguments.

Small said he hasn't decided who to back.

"We have three strong candidates. It will be a hard decision," Small said. "I'm getting pulled back and forth."

Both men said they're trying to take a pulse of the community before voting.

"My job is to take a look and consider all the information brought forth," Small said.

Beaver did not return a voice mail message left on his cellphone Friday.

Delvin plans to resign from the seat when a replacement is named.

Haler is the senior 8th District House representative, having served since 2004. Klippert was elected to the House in 2008. Brown was elected to the Kennewick City Council in 2009.

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