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 Stand.earth, 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:
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.