WALLA WALLA, Washington – Now that the Walla Walla County Board of Commissioners is operating at full capacity, one commissioner is reflecting on the recent selection made to fill a vacancy left open following the sudden death of Commissioner Jim Duncan on Dec. 27, 2018.
Earlier this month, former Walla Walla County Commissioner Greg Tompkins was chosen and sworn in to represent District No. 3 which covers College Place, Touchet, Lowden, Burbank and Wallula.
“I guess he (Tompkins) missed the turmoil, he missed the action,” Board Vice Chairman Jim Johnson said. “I don’t know, there’s a lot going on. I was a little surprised. He served three terms, so that’s 12 years and I thought he probably had enough, but he did step up.”
Three finalists were chosen by the Walla Walla County Republican Central Committee in January out of 11 candidates who interviewed for the position.
“There was some really good people there, not just the final three candidates but the others who put their name in,” Johnson said. “Some really great people, some good citizens – who knows one of them might step up and run in the fall.”
Tompkins represented District No. 3 from January 2003 to December 2014 when he stepped down and was replaced by Duncan, who was only 49 at his death shortly after Christmas. Johnson said when it came down to selecting the right person for the job, Tompkins was the right choice.
“It came down to the fact we got a lot going on,” Johnson said. “I mean there’s a lot of irons in the fire and having a seasoned commissioner, someone with that kind of experience coming back to hit the ground running immediately to us was, I think, extremely beneficial for the citizens.”