Alex Ramel, candidate for State Representative
Alex Ramel, candidate for State Representative

For­mer State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jeff Mor­ris, who resigned late last year to take a dream job with Schnei­der Elec­tric, has a suc­ces­sor: Alex Ramel.

The envi­ron­men­tal and cli­mate jus­tice activist was cho­sen by the What­com Coun­ty Coun­cil, Skag­it Coun­ty Com­mis­sion, and San Juan Coun­ty Com­mis­sion at a joint meet­ing today to rep­re­sent the 40th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict in the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives effec­tive immediately.

Ramel joins State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Debra Lekanoff and State Sen­a­tor Liz Lovelett as one of the peo­ple’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives in Olympia from the 40th Dis­trict in the state’s north­west­ern cor­ner, which includes por­tions of Belling­ham and What­com Coun­ty in addi­tion to the San Juan Islands and parts of Skag­it County.

Ramel was a con­tender two years ago to select a replace­ment for retir­ing State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kris Lyt­ton. A total of four Democ­rats sought to take over from Lyt­ton: Ramel, Rud Browne, Debra Lekanoff, and Tom Pasma.

Lekanoff was the only Demo­c­rat to move on from the August 2018 Top Two elec­tion to the gen­er­al elec­tion. Ramel fin­ished in third place, just behind Repub­li­can Michael Petr­ish, who became Lekanoff’s autumn opponent.

Ramel gar­nered 7,684 votes (19.13%) of the vote in that elim­i­na­tion elec­tion. While on the trail, he spoke to NPI’s Caitlin Har­ring­ton about his desire to serve the peo­ple as one of the state’s nine­ty-eight state rep­re­sen­ta­tives:

“The skillset I bring is being able finds ways to work togeth­er, find­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties, and doing the hard work and sweat equi­ty of build­ing trust,” Ramel says. This is espe­cial­ly true in his cur­rent job at, where the cur­rent pri­or­i­ty is resist­ing oil indus­try expan­sion projects, and where Ramel has suc­cess­ful­ly found ways to col­lab­o­rate with (instead of alien­ate) refin­ery workers.

Ramel now has the oppor­tu­ni­ty not only to serve in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, but to serve with Debra Lekanoff. How about that!

Here’s a pho­to of the two of them togeth­er fol­low­ing Ramel’s appoint­ment, cour­tesy of Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty Chair Tina Podlodowski:

Alex Ramel and Debra Lekanoff
Alex Ramel and Debra Lekanoff fol­low­ing Alex’s appoint­ment to the Wash­ing­ton State House (Pho­to: Tina Podlodowski)

Ramel will remain in office as a state rep­re­sen­ta­tive at least through the end of next Novem­ber. A spe­cial elec­tion to fill the remain­der of Jeff Mor­ris’ term will be held con­cur­rent­ly with the elec­tion for a new two-year term. If Ramel runs and wins, he would then serve in the House until Jan­u­ary of 2023.

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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