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December 7, 2007

Rep. Strow resigns from Legislature for new job

Posted by David Postman at 8:33 AM

Rep. Chris Strow, R-Freeland, is leaving the Legislature to take a job with the Puget Sound Regional Council. Bill McSherry, director of economic development for PSRC, said in an e-mail — that a recipient forwarded to me — that Strow will start "sometime in the next three to four weeks after his departure from the Legislature is effective."

At The Herald, Jerry Cornfield talked to Strow Thursday and confirmed the lawmaker was leaving the Legislature, but didn't say what he would be doing.

Strow, who was elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2006, said he hasn't accepted a new job but is considering "family friendly" employment that pays a higher salary than a lawmaker's and enables him to spend more time at home.

These issues were on his mind earlier this year when he pursued a vacancy on the Island County Commission. He later withdrew from consideration and declared he would stay in state office. He had roughly $7,000 on hand for a 2008 election.

"I could certainly see a return to public life one day," he said. "My family will always be the most important thing to me."

According to McSherry's e-mail, Strow will be the PSRC's principal economic policy analyst. Strow is married to the former Mary Lane, a veteran Republican press operative now working for Dino Rossi's campaign. He was an aide to the late Congressman Jack Metcalf.

A Republican will be appointed to fill out the last year of Strow's term. More from Cornfield:

Strow said he's backing longtime friend Norma Smith for the seat. Smith ran for Congress in 2002 and narrowly lost to Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen.

Democrats had already been gearing up to challenge Strow in 2008. Democrat Tim Knue of Mount Vernon had already launched his campaign against Strow. In 2006, Knue ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor.

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