NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, May 24th, 2019

Guy Palumbo resigns from the Washington State Senate, effective immediately

State Sen­a­tor Guy Palum­bo (D‑1st Dis­trict: Kirk­land, Both­ell, Malt­by), who recent­ly angered many Demo­c­ra­t­ic activists by attempt­ing to divert fund­ing from pub­lic com­mon schools to pri­vate­ly admin­is­tered pri­vate schools, has resigned from the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate, effec­tive immediately.

In a state­ment, the now-for­mer Sen­a­tor said he was leav­ing pub­lic ser­vice with a year and a half left in his term to focus on his fam­i­ly and small busi­ness — although it turns out the real rea­son is that he has tak­en a job with Ama­zon as the com­pa­ny’s state Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pol­i­cy, accord­ing to The Her­ald of Everett and The Seat­tle Times, which each obtained a state­ment from Amazon.

(Palum­bo pre­vi­ous­ly worked for Ama­zon, so this new job will be a homecoming.)

Former State Senator Guy Palumbo

For­mer State Sen­a­tor Guy Palumbo

“Rep­re­sent­ing the res­i­dents of the 1st Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict has been the dis­tin­guish­ing hon­or of my pro­fes­sion­al life,” said Palumbo.

“As reward­ing as it has been to serve in the Sen­ate, the role I cher­ish most is being a hus­band and father. I am return­ing to the pri­vate sec­tor so I can be clos­er to my home and young fam­i­ly and my small business.”

“I ran in 2016 promis­ing to address trans­porta­tion and infra­struc­ture prob­lems in our com­mu­ni­ty,” Palum­bo recalled.

“In three short years, invest­ments in our dis­trict have grown expo­nen­tial­ly com­pared to the pri­or two decades with $720 mil­lion in trans­porta­tion invest­ments and anoth­er $180 mil­lion in cap­i­tal con­struc­tion investments.

“While the work isn’t fin­ished, I feel like I am leav­ing our dis­trict and our state in bet­ter shape than when I took office.  I am proud of lead­ing on cli­mate change and pass­ing the nation’s strongest 100 per­cent clean ener­gy bill as well as the Solar Fair­ness Act to ensure we pro­mote instal­la­tions of rooftop solar in our state.

“This past ses­sion, we worked to guar­an­tee free col­lege tuition for low­er-income stu­dents. We cre­at­ed the nation’s first Long Term Care Trust to ensure that Wash­ing­to­ni­ans will have the care they need lat­er in life. Our state con­tin­ues to lead and make progress on key pol­i­cy issues that will make peo­ple’s lives better.”

“I am proud of what was accom­plished dur­ing my time in the leg­is­la­ture. It was an hon­or to serve my com­mu­ni­ty and to serve with my colleagues.”

“Sen­a­tor Palum­bo has informed me he intends to resign his seat in the state sen­ate, effec­tive today,” said Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Andy Billig.

“Sen­a­tor Palum­bo has done an excel­lent job rep­re­sent­ing the peo­ple of the 1st Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict and has been a par­tic­u­lar­ly strong advo­cate on issues relat­ed to high­er edu­ca­tion, trans­porta­tion, cli­mate and energy.”

“We will miss him in the Sen­ate, but def­i­nite­ly under­stand his rea­sons for leav­ing as the job of being a leg­is­la­tor can be dif­fi­cult to mesh with the real­i­ties of fam­i­lies and oth­er pro­fes­sion­al work. I thank Sen­a­tor Palum­bo for his hard work in the Sen­ate and for Wash­ing­ton. I wish him and his fam­i­ly all the best in the future.”

“My trea­sured friend and sen­ate col­league Guy Palum­bo has resigned to return to the pri­vate sec­tor and be clos­er to home and fam­i­ly,” said Sen­a­tor Reuven Carlyle.

“The per­son­al, pro­fes­sion­al and finan­cial chal­lenges of serv­ing our con­stituents in our part-time cit­i­zen leg­is­la­ture are increas­ing­ly difficult.”

“Most­ly I want to thank Guy for his friend­ship, per­son­al pas­sion and his deeply impact­ful work on cli­mate, ener­gy, envi­ron­ment, high­er edu­ca­tion, health care, trans­porta­tion and so much more. He has had an out­sized impact for good pub­lic pol­i­cy and will be missed dear­ly in the Wash­ing­ton State Senate.”

Those sen­ti­ments were not shared by Palum­bo’s 2016 Demo­c­ra­t­ic opponent.

“My neme­sis, Guy Palum­bo, has resigned his Sen­ate seat with­out even fin­ish­ing his first term,” wrote for­mer State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Luis Moscoso.

“I under­stand The Stranger and oth­er media will be expos­ing more of his rea­sons for this. And I will not be sur­prised to learn that his res­ig­na­tion is tied to uneth­i­cal behav­ior like what he did in his 2016 [Top Two] race against me.”

Palum­bo’s two seat­mates in the House are both Democ­rats (Derek Stan­ford and Shel­ley Klo­ba) and it is pos­si­ble one or both will ask the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty to nom­i­nate them to take Palum­bo’s place in the Senate.

Because Palum­bo resigned after Fil­ing Week, no spe­cial elec­tion will be held this year for his seat. Instead, a spe­cial elec­tion will be held next year, con­cur­rent­ly with the elec­tion where the posi­tion would ordi­nar­i­ly be contested.

The process for fill­ing a Demo­c­ra­t­ic leg­isla­tive vacan­cy under par­ty rules and the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion in this case is as follows:

  • For a leg­isla­tive dis­trict span­ning mul­ti­ple coun­ties like the 1st, the Chair of the Wash­ing­ton State Democ­rats (cur­rent­ly Tina Pod­lodows­ki) is required to call a spe­cial nom­i­nat­ing cau­cus con­sist­ing of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers in the 1st Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict. The spe­cial nom­i­nat­ing cau­cus must choose a list of three peo­ple to fill the vacancy.
  • The statu­to­ry state cen­tral com­mit­tee or the exec­u­tive com­mit­tee of the statu­to­ry state com­mit­tee must then approve the list of three peo­ple, although under par­ty rules, this is a for­mal­i­ty — it’s oblig­ed to.
  • The King and Sno­homish Coun­ty Coun­cils must then choose from among the list of three nom­i­nees. If they can­not agree on who to appoint with­in six­ty days, Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee will make the appoint­ment instead.

If either Klo­ba or Stan­ford (or both) stand for the Sen­ate vacan­cy in the nom­i­nat­ing process, then the par­ty will also pre­pare a list of three names to fill the House vacan­cy that would be cre­at­ed by their move across the Rotun­da to the Sen­ate, so that the House vacan­cy could be almost simul­ta­ne­ous­ly filled.

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One Comment

  1. Final­ly, we need to weed them out. We need what is the best and right thing to do! God bless you all!

    # by Yvonne Persa :: May 25th, 2019 at 9:31 AM
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