Ross Hunter is retiring from the legislature effective RIGHT NOW to head the state Department of Early Learning.
Hunter will start in the $150,000 a year job next Tuesday. He takes over at a time when the state is placing a major emphasis, and increased money, into early learning programs. He said he views the “opportunity to improve outcomes for hundreds of thousands of at-risk children (as) incredibly compelling.”
His departure could set off a scramble among senior Democrats for the job of House Appropriations Committee chairman, a powerful position that has major influence on how the state spends billions of dollars in its operating budget. The chairman of the Finance Committee, which sets taxes, may also be leaving. Rep. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, has announced plans to seek a Senate seat if its current occupant, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, wins a seat on the King County Council in November.
Hunter has a long list of accomplishments, but mostly I’ll remember him saying on Podcasting Liberally that people should vote for him for exec because he couldn’t figure out the Metro Trip Planner. Anyway, I’m sure he’ll be good at his new job.
Is there anyone you’d like to see replace Hunter, either in the district or among Democrats as the main Senate budget person for the Dems?