WASHINGTON D.C. – Sen. Brian Dansel resigned from his position as Washington state senator for the 7th Legislative District to take a job as a special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.

Dansel started out as a Ferry County commissioner, in 2010. He was elected to the state legislature in 2013 after a special election. Longtime Sen. Bob Morton retired, forcing the special election.

"It has been the honor of my life to serve as your senator, and this decision was not an easy one for me,” said Dansel, a Republican who lives in Republic. Wash. “Words cannot express the gratitude my family and I feel toward the citizens of this district, and I didn't take the decision lightly."

Republican precinct committee officers in the 7th District will now have to name three possible candidates to replace Dansel. They will need to be representative of the counties that make up the district: Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille and Spokane.

The commissioners of the five counties will then pick from among the three candidates; the person appointed will serve until the next general election, when district voters will choose someone to serve the year remaining in the Senate term.

Dansel will start his new role in Washington D.C. immediately.