Veteran Democratic legislator June Robinson will take the place of now-retired State Senator John McCoy in the Washington State Senate, while Emily Wicks will take Robinson’s place in the House, the Snohomish County Council decided today.
The Council’s actions restore the 38th Legislative District’s representation in Olympia to its full strength. The 38th is a safe Democratic district located wholly within Snohomish County. It is the City of Everett’s home legislative district, and also encompasses the communities of Marysville, Tulalip and Smokey Point.
McCoy had ably represented the 38th District in the Senate until his retirement several weeks ago. The much beloved and widely admired Senator was one of Washington’s highest profile Native American elected leaders; he also served in Senate Democratic caucus leadership as Caucus Chair.
Robinson, sixty, was a candidate for Speaker of the House last year along with NPI’s Gael Tarleton (D‑36th District), Laurie Jinkins (D‑27th District), and Monica Stonier (D‑49th District). The position ultimately went to Jinkins, who recently completed her first session in the role, succeeding Frank Chopp (D‑43rd District).
Tarleton is now running for Secretary of State. Robinson decided to seek appointment to the Senate after McCoy’s announcement, and was the top choice of the Democratic precinct committee officers in the 38th to succeed McCoy. (The Snohomish County Democratic Central Committee, as required by the Washington State Constitution, also submitted two other names.)
The Snohomish County Council concurred that Robinson was the logical choice, and voted to appoint her at a meeting held this afternoon.
Senate Democrats wasted no time in rolling out the welcome mat.
“June Robinson has dedicated her life to making the lives of others better,” said Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D‑3rd District: Spokane).
“Throughout her career, she has committed herself to the improvement of public health for diverse populations both here in Washington and in other parts of the world,” Billig’s statement added. “Her public health background, budget experience and expertise in affordable housing are especially important now to the legislature and the entire state. The Senate is fortunate to welcome a public servant of June Robinson’s caliber and experience.”
Robinson’s move to the Senate left a vacancy in the House, which the Council filled by appointing Emily Wicks. Wicks will serve out the remainder of Robinson’s unexpired term and must earn the confidence of voters to remain in the House of Representatives beyond the end of the year. (She is a candidate; having filed her paperwork on Monday with the Secretary of State.)
The Snohomish County Democratic Central Committee, acting on the recommendation of its PCOs in the 38th, also nominated activist and lobbyist Charles Adkins and NPI boardmember Mario Brown for the position.
Adkins was ranked first, Wicks second, and Brown third on the party’s list.
(The Washington State Constitution does not require or even suggest that lists of nominees should be ranked, but the major political parties are in the habit of doing it anyway in an effort to influence who gets picked to fill a vacancy.)
Wicks has previously worked for Governor Jay Inslee (when he was a candidate) and Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib (when he was a state legislator).
She is currently the President of the Washington chapter of the National Women’s Political Caucus, and has been involved in the Marysville YMCA and the Marysville School District Foundation as well as Leadership Snohomish County.
Wicks is a graduate of Washington State University, with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Public Relations.
Below is a copy of Wicks’ curriculum vitae and questionnaire responses, if you’re interested in learning more about her political positions.Resume and Q&A from Emily Wicks
Congratulations to Senator Robinson and Representative Wicks on their new responsibilities! We look forward to working with them to advance progressive causes during this important presidential election cycle and beyond.