EVERETT — Democratic state Rep. John Lovick became a state senator Wednesday after the Snohomish County Council unanimously chose him to fill the vacancy created by Steve Hobbs’ move to statewide office.
“I am honored and humbled beyond words,” Lovick said. “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 choice of Lovick was no surprise. He was the near unanimous pick earlier this month of Democratic precinct officers of the 44th Legislative District that includes Mill Creek, Lake Stevens and Snohomish.
The County Council then appointed Brandy Donaghy of south Everett to replace him in the House.
That was a little unexpected. Donaghy was not the top choice of those same Democratic officers. Sean Paddock of Mill Creek earned that honor when he got 31 votes to her 12 at a special meeting.
Council members voted 4-1 for Donaghy, a community organizer and volunteer who ran unsuccessfully for the County Council in November.
Councilmember Megan Dunn, a Democrat, cast the lone ‘no’ vote. She said she wanted to respect the precinct committee officer vote.
“I know she is going to do a great job,” Dunn said of Donaghy.
Donaghy will serve in the House with Rep. April Berg, D-Mill Creek. The two women and Lovick are Black, a first for the legislative district.
“I am honored be a part of this historic all Black Washington State delegation and I am excited to join my colleagues in our continued work to provide comprehensive resources to help our communities overcome current challenges and build a stronger foundation for tomorrow,” Berg said in a statement.
Lovick, a retired Washington State Patrol trooper, moves into the Senate after serving two tours in the House. He served from 1999 to 2007 and returned in 2016.
In between, he served as Snohomish County sheriff and was appointed Snohomish County executive in 2013 after the resignation of Aaron Reardon. In 2015, he ran for a full term and lost to another Democrat, Dave Somers.
When Hans Dunshee resigned his state House seat to replace Somers on the County Council, Lovick was picked for that vacancy. In his tenure, he’s served as speaker pro tem and deputy speaker pro tem, a role which involves overseeing floor sessions.
Lovick intends to run for a full four-year term next year. As of Wednesday, he’d raised $39,876 for his campaign.
“There will be no learning curve for Sen. Lovick,” Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, D-Spokane, said in a statement. “He brings a wealth of knowledge from almost every level of government imaginable, and also invaluable experience as a veteran and first responder.”
Donaghy, 48, a Navy veteran, has spent the past decade as a community organizer and volunteer. She currently is an art docent with an Everett elementary school, a volunteer with a national disaster relief organization and serves in leadership roles with the Everett United Church of Christ, the Communities of Color Coalition and the NAACP of Snohomish County.
She is also chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for the 44th District Democrats. In November, she lost to incumbent Republican Councilmember Sam Low.
Paddock, 55, works for Dell Technologies and is a Mill Creek planning commissioner. While he has set up a campaign website, he has not created a political committee to raise money for the 2022 election.
“This has been a tremendous experience,” he said Wednesday. He said he wants to give back to the community at another level but said it is too soon to say if he might run for the seat next year.
Democrats also nominated Joyce Copley of Lake Stevens for the post. Copley ran for Lake Stevens City Council in November, losing by 130 votes to incumbent Councilman Gary Petershagen.
The 2022 legislative session begins Jan. 10 and is scheduled to last 60 days.
Jerry Cornfield: firstname.lastname@example.org; 360-352-8623; Twitter: @dospueblos.
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