All of us at NPI would like to extend our warmest congratulations to our good friend Suzan DelBene, who, as of today, is the newest member of Congress from the great state of Washington, succeeding our governor-elect.
Suzan, as most readers likely know, was easily elected to serve out the remainder of Jay Inslee’s term in the old 1st District as well as winning a full term in the new 1st District (which stretches from Redmond, Kirkland, and the Points communities in King County to the Canadian border).
Today, shortly after 4 PM Pacific Time, she took the oath of office and officially became a U.S. Representative. The oath for members of Congress is as follows:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.
DelBene’s swearing in was attended by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and members of Washington’s congressional delegation. She was introduced by outgoing Congressman Norm Dicks, the longest-serving member of the delegation. Her prepared remarks were as follows:
Thank you to Congressman Dicks for the kind introduction.
Mr. Speaker, Leader Pelosi, members of the Washington Delegation, members of the 112th Congress, it’s truly an honor for me to be here today.
I’d first like to thank all those who have supported me throughout this journey, in particular my family, my husband Kurt, who’s up in the gallery and my children Rebecca and Zachary who are both in college. I’m grateful to share this moment with them.
It is a great privilege to represent the people of Washington’s 1st District, both the current and future versions of it. I’m honored to have been given this opportunity by the voters of Western Washington and I appreciate their support. I will work hard to meet their expectations and serve them well.
I look forward to working with all of you and I’m honored to be able to serve alongside the distinguished members of Washington’s delegation.
I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and get to work right away.
Doc Hastings, the longest-serving Republican member of Congress from the Evergreen State, also offered words of welcome for DelBene.
DelBene was sworn in prior to certification of the election because it is clear she is destined to be the winner. In fact, a Koster victory in the old 1st District (drawn in 2001) is now mathematically impossible.
Two additional freshmen will begin their service in January: Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck, who be representing the 6th and 10th Districts, respectively.
Kilmer, DelBene, and Heck all participated in a press conference led by Nancy Pelosi earlier today. The purpose of the event was to introduce the Democratic freshmen of 2012 to the Washington press corps.
DelBene does not have a House website yet, but she is expected to soon. She will have to put her office together quickly because there are several important matters coming before the House this month and next.