After the death of Commissioner Gary Stamper in September of 2021, Lee Grose — a Packwood resident who previously held the seat — was chosen to serve the final year of Stamper’s term.
Now, the people of Lewis County have cast their ballots in an election for the seat. On Tuesday, Nov. 29, the race was certified. Scott Brummer, R-Winlock, who ran against Harry Bhagwandin, R-Onalaska, was asked to take over for Grose before January, when most elected officials will be sworn in.
County staff and various officials joined with Brummer’s family at the Lewis County Courthouse on Wednesday morning to witness the swearing-in of their new commissioner. Representing District 3 — which covers most of south and east Lewis County — Brummer was chosen by voters in the district out of five primary candidates before the entire county voted on the race in the Nov. 8 general election.
He was sworn in by District Court Judge Wade Samuelson, who had Brummer solemnly swear to faithfully and impartially perform and discharge the duties of his office while following state and U.S. laws.
After his oath was completed, he thanked his family and supporters for being there.
“I just can't express how much I appreciate your confidence in me. I also obviously want to thank the voters of Lewis County. I love this place. I love this county. I’m passionate about it. I will fight for the people of Lewis County every day in this office, that's my commitment,” Brummer said.
A former fish biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Brummer and his family also own a farm and feed business in Winlock and he and his wife, Kristine, serve as pastors at God’s Place church in Ethel. His campaign began several months before the filing date, with Brummer saying he initially planned to run for commissioner in District 2 before his precinct was moved during countywide redistricting.
His campaign focused on the issues of growth, increased support to law enforcement, fire and emergency services. He also several times spoke out against statewide mandates — refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine is what ended his employment with WDFW — and overspending in government, saying he’d like to tighten up the county’s budget.
Brummer previously told The Chronicle he respected Bhagwandin and appreciated that the two ran “positive” and “cordial” campaigns.
“Harry still got a lot of votes and I want to be the commissioner for those people, too,” Brummer said earlier this month. “I want to go to work for everybody in the county — not just those that were in support. … My hat is off to Harry, he did a great job.”