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AGO 1959 No. 8 - February 11, 1959
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John J. O'Connell | 1957-1968 | Attorney General of Washington

ELECTIONS ‑- COUNTY ‑- FILLING OF VACANCY OF COUNTY TREASURER.

Where an incumbent county treasurer is re‑elected [[reelected]]and dies before the commencement of the new term an appointee filling the vacancy holds office from the date of appointment until the next general election and until a successor is elected and qualified.

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                                                                February 11, 1959

Honorable W. L. McCormick
Washington State Representative
Fifth District
Legislative Building
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 59-60 No. 8

Dear Sir:

            You have requested an opinion of this office which we paraphrase as follows:

            At the last general election, the incumbent county treasurer was re‑elected [[reelected]]for the new term commencing January 12, 1959.  A few days following the election the officer died, and another man was appointed by the county commissioners to fill the vacancy.  Does the person so appointed continue in office after January 12, 1959, the date the new term would ordinarily commence?

            We answer your question in the affirmative.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Article IX, section 6, Washington State Constitution, relating to vacancies in county offices, reads as follows:

            "The board of county commissioners in each county shall fill all vacancies occurring in any county,  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] township, precinct or road district office of such county by appointment, and officers thus appointed shall hold office till the next general election, and until their successors are elected and qualified."  (Emphasis supplied.)

            Pursuant to this language, RCW 36.16.110 provides:

            "The board of county commissioners in each county shall, at its next regular or special meeting after being apprised of any vacancy in any county, township, precinct, or road district office of the county, fill the vacancy by the appointment of some person qualified to hold such office, and the officers thus appointed shall hold office until the next general election, and until their successors are elected and qualified."  (Emphasis supplied.)

            From this language it appears clear that in this particular case the appointment extends into the new term commencing January 12, 1959, since the appointee holds office from the date of his appointment until such time as his successor is elected and qualified, which, in the instant situation, would not occur until the next general election, which would be the general election of county officers to be held in November, 1960.  State ex rel De Bow v. McNeill, 127 Wash. 157, 219 Pac. 852 (1923).

            We trust the foregoing will be of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

JOHN J. O'CONNELL
Attorney General

GERALD F. COLLIER
Assistant Attorney General

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