NPI's Cascadia Advocate

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

Thursday, December 16th, 2021

John Lovick moves over to the State Senate; Brandy Donaghy joins Washington’s House

With less than one month to go until the begin­ning of the 2022 leg­isla­tive ses­sion, the Sno­homish Coun­ty Coun­cil on Wednes­day made two leg­isla­tive appoint­ments to bring the 44th Leg­isla­tive Dis­tric­t’s del­e­ga­tion to Olympia back up to full strength fol­low­ing Steve Hobbs’ departure.

Hobbs, who resigned to join Wash­ing­ton’s exec­u­tive depart­ment as the first Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sec­re­tary of State in decades, will be suc­ceed­ed by his House col­league John Lovick, a wide­ly respect­ed State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive who served a par­tial term as Sno­homish Coun­ty Exec­u­tive in between two stints in the House.

Senator John Lovick speaks at a November 2021 campaign event in Snohomish

New­ly appoint­ed Sen­a­tor John Lovick, pic­tured speak­ing at his Novem­ber 2021 Cajun turkey feed, is an expe­ri­enced state leg­is­la­tor, hav­ing served two stints in the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Lovick announced weeks ago he would seek the Sen­ate appoint­ment, and his selec­tion was con­sid­ered all but a for­mal­i­ty. But it was­n’t obvi­ous who would take his place in the House. After inter­view­ing the nom­i­nees, the Coun­cil ulti­mate­ly chose Brandy Don­aghy to fill the vacan­cy cre­at­ed by Lovick­’s jump to the Sen­ate, cre­at­ing the first all-Black leg­isla­tive del­e­ga­tion in coun­ty history.

Don­aghy is a Demo­c­ra­t­ic PCO, an art docent with Everett School Dis­trict, and a FEMA-cer­ti­fied mem­ber of the Com­mu­ni­ty Emer­gency Response Team pro­gram. She chal­lenged Repub­li­can incum­bent Sam Low for Sno­homish Coun­ty Coun­cil in the just-con­clud­ed 2021 local elec­tions, but came up short.

Now she’s head­ed to the Wash­ing­ton State House of Representatives.

State Representative Brandy Donaghy

New­ly appoint­ed State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Brandy Don­aghy (Cam­paign photo)

The Sno­homish Coun­ty Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty had the respon­si­bil­i­ty of nom­i­nat­ing three can­di­dates for the Sno­homish Coun­ty Coun­cil to pick from, and the par­ty ful­filled that respon­si­bil­i­ty by call­ing a spe­cial nom­i­nat­ing cau­cus of precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers from the 44th Dis­trict. The cau­cus select­ed Mill Creek plan­ning com­mis­sion­er Sean Pad­dock, Don­aghy, and Joyce Cop­ley of Lake Stevens, who took on an incum­bent for Lake Stevens City Coun­cil but nar­row­ly lost.

Pad­dock was the PCOs’ first choice, but the Coun­cil was not oblig­at­ed to appoint him. The Con­sti­tu­tion states that when a leg­isla­tive vacan­cy occurs, the coun­ty or state cen­tral com­mit­tee belong­ing to the polit­i­cal par­ty of the depart­ed office­hold­er shall draw up a list of three nom­i­nees to be a suc­ces­sor, any of whom may then be cho­sen for the posi­tion by the appoint­ing leg­isla­tive authorities.

In many cas­es, the PCOs’ top choice does get the appoint­ment. But not always. In this case, the Coun­cil went with Don­aghy, who will become April Berg’s seat­mate. Doanghy’s appoint­ment will strength­en the diver­si­ty of the State House.

Lovick, mean­while, is get­ting an enthu­si­as­tic wel­come in the State Senate.

“John Lovick has spent his life in ser­vice to our state and coun­try,” said Sen­ate Major­i­ty Leader Andy Bil­lig, D‑3rd Dis­trict (Spokane). “He brings a wealth of knowl­edge from almost every lev­el of gov­ern­ment imag­in­able, and also invalu­able expe­ri­ence as a vet­er­an and first respon­der. There will be no learn­ing curve for Sen­a­tor Lovick. I am excit­ed to work more close­ly with Sen­a­tor Lovick and excit­ed to wel­come him to our cau­cus and the Senate.”

“I’m excit­ed to get to work,” Lovick said in a cau­cus press release. “We’ve over­come so much as a state, but hard work remains. There’s no prob­lem we can’t solve if we do it togeth­er, and I’m excit­ed to get start­ed in this new role.”

The Sen­ate Democ­rats are so excit­ed to have Lovick, in fact, that they announced this morn­ing that he has been select­ed to be part of the cham­ber’s lead­er­ship. Lovick will serve as 2nd Vice Pres­i­dent Pro Tem­pore of the Senate.

Lovick­’s com­mit­tee assign­ments are:

  • Busi­ness, Finan­cial Ser­vices & Trade
  • Envi­ron­ment, Ener­gy & Technology
  • Trans­porta­tion

Trans­porta­tion has a new Chair, Marko Liias, who rep­re­sents the neigh­bor­ing 21st Dis­trict in Sno­homish Coun­ty. Due to tak­ing the Trans­porta­tion gav­el, Liias is leav­ing his post as Major­i­ty Floor Leader. Sen­a­tor Jamie Ped­er­sen will take over, and in turn, Sen­a­tor Man­ka Dhin­gra will become the chair of the Law & Jus­tice Com­mit­tee, with Sen­a­tor David Frockt becom­ing the Chair of Beha­vo­r­ial Health.

That’s not all: Sen­a­tor Claire Wil­son will be chair­ing Human Ser­vices, Reen­try & Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Com­mit­tee and new­ly appoint­ed Sen­a­tor Yas­min Trudeau will become Vice Chair of Law & Jus­tice, serv­ing with Sen­a­tor Dhin­gra. Sen­a­tor Trudeau will serve on Human Ser­vices, Reen­try & Reha­bil­i­ta­tion with Sen­a­tor Wil­son plus the Hous­ing com­mit­tee chaired by Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Kuderer.

NPI con­grat­u­lates Sen­a­tor Lovick and Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Don­aghy on their new roles. We look for­ward to work­ing with them to improve Wash­ing­ton’s qual­i­ty of life.

The six­ty day 2022 leg­isla­tive ses­sion is slat­ed to begin on Jan­u­ary 10th, 2022.

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