Deputy treasurer expected to be named as interim Jefferson County treasurer

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Chief Deputy County Treasurer Janet Holbrook is expected to serve as interim treasurer until the lone candidate on the ballot for the position is elected.

The Jefferson County Republican Party has declined to provide three names as nominees to replace retiring Treasurer Judi Morris, GOP chairman Gene Farr told the county commissioners Friday.

That sets in motion the naming of an interim treasurer to serve until the election of the only declared candidate for the post.

County commissioners are expected to appoint Holbrook when they meet at 9 a.m. June 2 at the Jefferson County Courthouse, said County Administrator Philip Morley.

Holbrook, 55, who has worked in the office for 32 years, would lead the office from July 1 to Nov. 25, when the results of the election are certified.

At that time, the winner of the Nov. 4 general election will be sworn in early for the four-year term ending in 2019.

Jefferson County Department of Community Development Director Stacie Hoskins, a Democrat, is the only candidate who has declared for the position.

The process began in April, when Morris, who has served four terms, announced her retirement, effective June 30.

Since Morris was elected as a Republican, the county party was charged with selecting three nominees from which the commissioners were to choose a preferred candidate.

That person would have served until Dec. 31, the end of Morris’ current term.

Morris recommended Hoskins as her successor, but the party submitted three other names: Quilcene businesswoman Dena Jones, retired Port Ludlow accountant Lyle Newlin and former Jefferson County Republican Party Chairman Ron Gregory.

Farr said then that Hoskins was not selected because the other candidates were more qualified and that she did not represent Republican values.

Of the three selected candidates, Jones was the only one who said she would run for a four-year term.

Jones did not file for the office, issuing a statement on the final filing day that family obligations prevented her from campaigning this summer.

Jones, Gregory and Newlin then all contacted Farr and said they were not interested in the position.

“Rather than prolong the process and continue to search for qualified candidates . . . appointing [an] acting treasurer for the remainder of the current term seems to be in the best interest of the people in this county,” Farr wrote in a letter to the county commissioners.

Hoskins could face write-in opposition in either the Aug. 5 primary or the Nov. 4 general election.

Holbrook said Friday that she never actively sought the top job and would never have run for election because she was not comfortable with the political or public aspects of the elected position.

Holbrook, a 1977 graduate of Port Townsend High School, said she expected a smooth transition between Morris and herself and to Hoskins later in the year.

The process will be easier than if the office had to train someone who would only serve for a short time and had no intention of serving a full term, she said.

If there are any questions, “Judi will only be a phone call away,” Holbrook said.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 24. 2014 6:02PM
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