Senator Sharon Nelson (D‑34th District, Maury Island) has been selected by her colleagues to serve as the new leader of the Washington State Senate Democrats, the caucus announced today. She succeeds Ed Murray, who, as of next Tuesday, will officially be the Mayor-elect of the City of Seattle.
Nelson, sixty-two, represents West Seattle, Burien, Vashon Island, and Maury Island in the Senate. She previously served as chief of staff to Dow Constantine, when he was a county councilmember. She later ran for state House when Joe McDermott moved over to the Senate, and then took McDermott’s seat in the Senate when Joe took Dow’s seat following his election as county executive.
Nelson is known for her progressive work ethic. She is kind and treats people with dignity. She is also smart and capable. She’s clearly earned the respect of her colleagues. Four years ago, when she was in the House, she was honored by House Democratic legislative aides as Legislator of the Year. That award speaks to her bridge-building skills and her ability to draft and improve legislation.
“I am honored to have been elected as leader by the Senate Democrats,” Nelson said in a statement released not long after caucus staff tweeted the results of the leadership election, held today in Olympia.
“We have a diverse caucus, but I believe I was elected by my colleagues because my foremost goal is to do what I was sent here by my constituents to do — work for them. I demonstrated my inclusive leadership style during the budget negotiations last year, and I intend to make that a focal point of my tenure as leader.”
We at NPI extend our congratulations to Sharon on her election as Leader. In the past, we have worked with her on legislation to help victims of shoddy/negligent construction, and we found her to be an excellent listener and an able legislator. We’re pleased to see that she will be taking the helm of the Senate Democratic caucus, and we commend her for pledging to be tough but fair.