Shelly Kloba, Davina Duerr, and Derek Stanford
The 1st Legislative District's new delegation to Olympia, as of July 1st: Shelly Kloba, Davina Duerr, and Derek Stanford (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Progressive Institute)

Today, the Wash­ing­ton State Sen­ate and the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tive each gained a new mem­ber from the 1st Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict as a result of the res­ig­na­tion of for­mer State Sen­a­tor Guy Palum­bo back in May.

In a joint meet­ing at Both­ell City Hall, the King and Sno­homish Coun­ty Coun­cils exer­cised their author­i­ty under the Con­sti­tu­tion to appoint State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Derek Stan­ford to take Palum­bo’s place in the Sen­ate. The Coun­cils then filled the vacan­cy cre­at­ed by Stan­ford’s move across the rotun­da by appoint­ing Both­ell City Coun­cilmem­ber Davina Duerr to the Wash­ing­ton State House of Representatives.

Stan­ford, first elect­ed to the House in 2010, said he’s ready to make the switch.

“I’m excit­ed to get to work in the Sen­ate, and I’m grate­ful to the 1st Dis­trict Democ­rats and to the Sno­homish and King Coun­ty coun­cils for their sup­port,” the new­ly appoint­ed Sen­a­tor said in a state­ment. “It has been an hon­or to serve the peo­ple of the 1st Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict as state rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the past nine years.”

“I’m proud to have played a part in pass­ing his­toric leg­is­la­tion dur­ing my tenure in the House, from increas­ing school fund­ing and expand­ing vot­ing rights to fight­ing cli­mate change and pro­tect­ing work­ers,” he said.

“I believe that every­one deserves an equi­table oppor­tu­ni­ty to pur­sue their dreams. Togeth­er, we can tack­le the great­est chal­lenges we face and leave our state in bet­ter shape for our chil­dren. I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing this work in the Senate.”

Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Andy Bil­lig (D‑3rd Dis­trict) offered a warm welcome.

“It is my plea­sure to wel­come Sen­a­tor Stan­ford to our cau­cus,” said Bil­lig. “He brings with him a long, accom­plished record of serv­ing his con­stituents and a wealth of knowl­edge that will ben­e­fit the Sen­ate and our state.”

“This year, Stan­ford was the author of a major law that bans exces­sive non-com­pete agree­ments in Wash­ing­ton state, as well as leg­is­la­tion reg­u­lat­ing the cannabis indus­try and pre­vent­ing pets from being used as col­lat­er­al for loans,” not­ed Sen­ate Demo­c­ra­t­ic staff in their news release laud­ing the appointment.

Stan­ford received the unan­i­mous sup­port of all nine mem­bers of the King Coun­ty Coun­cil plus the five mem­bers of the Sno­homish Coun­ty Coun­cil for the Sen­ate vacan­cy. The oth­er two can­di­dates nom­i­nat­ed by the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty for the posi­tion were Sno­homish Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic Chair Hillary Moralez and for­mer WSDCC mem­ber Lin­da Tosti-Lane. Both sup­port­ed Stanford.

Moralez was also nom­i­nat­ed for the House vacan­cy along­side Duerr and Nepali-Amer­i­can busi­ness leader Dar­shan Rau­ni­yar. After hear­ing from all three nom­i­nees, the Coun­cils chose Duerr to fill the House vacan­cy through Novem­ber of 2020.

The motion to select Duer­r’s name received the sup­port of Coun­cilmem­bers Rod Dem­bows­ki, Clau­dia Bal­duc­ci, Joe McDer­mott, Kathy Lam­bert, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Rea­gan Dunn, Ter­ry Ryan, Bri­an Sul­li­van, Sam Low, Stephanie Wright, and Nate Nehring (from King and Sno­homish coun­ties, respec­tive­ly), with Coun­cilmem­bers Lar­ry Gos­sett, Dave Upthe­grove, and Pete von Reich­bauer dissenting.

Duerr will rep­re­sent the 1st in the House along­side State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Shel­ley Klo­ba, who her­self was once a city coun­cilmem­ber pri­or to join­ing the Legislature.

Shelly Kloba, Davina Duerr, and Derek Stanford
The 1st Leg­isla­tive Dis­tric­t’s new del­e­ga­tion to Olympia, as of July 1st: Shelly Klo­ba, Davina Duerr, and Derek Stan­ford (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/Northwest Pro­gres­sive Institute)

An archi­tect and envi­ron­men­tal advo­cate, Duerr cur­rent­ly serves the City of Both­ell as coun­cilmem­ber and Deputy May­or (a posi­tion cho­sen from among the coun­cil). She is run­ning for reelec­tion this August/November, and is fac­ing two chal­lengers. For the time being, she plans to remain in office and con­tin­ue to cam­paign for reelec­tion despite hav­ing been appoint­ed to the State House.

The Leg­is­la­ture is cur­rent­ly not in ses­sion, but it will recon­vene in Jan­u­ary of 2020 for up to six­ty days. Leg­is­la­tors aren’t cur­rent­ly pro­hib­it­ed from hold­ing posi­tions in local gov­ern­ment in addi­tion to serv­ing at the state lev­el, but most new leg­is­la­tors com­ing from the city, coun­cil, port, or school board lev­el choose to relin­quish their pre­vi­ous posi­tions upon join­ing the House or Sen­ate to ensure they can devote their full ener­gies to leg­is­lat­ing and avoid con­flicts of interest.

As a new Demo­c­ra­t­ic mem­ber of the Wash­ing­ton State House, Duerr will be one of fifty-sev­en peo­ple who gets to decide who will serve as the next Speak­er in the wake of Frank Chop­p’s res­ig­na­tion. There are four can­di­dates seek­ing the posi­tion. All are women. They are: State Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Lau­rie Jink­ins, Mon­i­ca Jura­do Stonier, June Robin­son, and NPI’s Gael Tar­leton. The elec­tion for Speak­er-des­ig­nate will be held on July 31st in Olympia by the cau­cus. Vot­ing will be by secret ballot.

NPI con­grat­u­lates Derek Stan­ford on join­ing the Sen­ate and Davina Duerr on becom­ing a state rep­re­sen­ta­tive. We look for­ward to col­lab­o­rat­ing with both of them to advance wor­thy caus­es that will improve our region’s qual­i­ty of life.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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