He's a familiar face to many in state politics.

Dino Rossi, two-time Republican gubernatorial candidate and now four-time state senator, has agreed to fill the seat in the 45th legislative district after his good friend, late Sen. Andy Hill, died of cancer two months ago.

Related: State Senator Hill remembered as respected leader

"I thought long and hard about this, and I was sitting at Andy's funeral, and I thought Andy was a friend of all three of ours, how can I honor his legacy? This might be it,” he told the Metropolitan King County Council.

County council members from both sides spoke to Rossi's qualifications.

“I found Sen. Rossi to be fair and was able to work across the aisle very well,” said council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles, who also served in the state senate.

Rossi has past experience writing a state budget and served as chair the Ways and Means committee.

He is a well-respected Republican who could help the legislature find a way to satisfy the state Supreme Court's McCleary decision and fully fund education.

“We will figure it out. My priorities have always been fiscally conservative but still have a social conscience,” Rossi said.

The other two candidates, Kirkland council member Toby Nixon and aerospace executive Joel Hussey, both endorsed Rossi for the job.

“I would vote for Dino myself,” Nixon told the county council.

Rossi will take the job, but he insists it would be just to finish the last year of the term.

“I've already been in the Senate. I've already done that," Rossi said. "I don't have an interest in running for the office, which makes me a free agent when I get down there. A free agent with a lot of experience."

Rossi’s run for governor in 2004 against Christine Gregoire became the closest gubernatorial race in U.S. history. He lost by just 133 votes.