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Governor Chooses Mary Kuney as New Spokane County Commissioner

The Spokane County Board of Commissioners will soon be back to full strength. Washington Governor Jay Inslee has chosen a replacement for departed commissioner Shelly O’Quinn.

Governor Jay Inslee has picked Mary Kuney to be the next commissioner. Kuney already works in the courthouse as chief deputy auditor. Inslee chose her over County Treasurer Rob Chase and Spokane Valley marketing executive John Guarisco.

Normally, the two remaining commissioners would choose a replacement on the board, but Al French and Josh Kerns couldn’t agree which of the three they preferred, so they handed the decision to the governor.

The decision sparked disagreement among Republicans over which candidate should replace O’Quinn. In announcing the decision to let Inslee choose, French blasted those who said he should choose the preference of local Republican leaders, in this case, Chase. He said he wasn’t required to go with their recommendation.

The governor’s office says Kuney’s appointment will take place immediately. She will serve until November 2018, at which point she’ll be required to win a special election if she wants to keep the seat.