MILL CREEK — State Rep. John Lovick emerged Sunday as the nearly unanimous choice of local Democrats to fill the Senate seat vacated by Steve Hobbs after his appointment to statewide office.
At a special meeting, Lovick received 49 of 50 votes cast by precinct committee officers. They were responsible for nominating three potential successors to Hobbs, now Washington’s secretary of state. The other nominees are Laura Hathaway and Greg Pratt, who both said they support Lovick.
“I’ve enjoyed my nearly 15 years in the state House of Representatives,” Lovick said. “I know I can make a difference in the state Senate.”
He said his focus is on “good, safe” schools and roads, and “jobs, jobs, jobs” with benefits.
Meanwhile, there was more competition for who should get Lovick’s House seat in the 44th Legislative District which currently encompasses Mill Creek, Snohomish and Lake Stevens.
After a series of votes, those same Democrats nominated Joyce Copley, Brandy Donaghy and Sean Paddock to take the state Representative post next year.
In a form of ranked-choice voting, Paddock was the top nominee, Donaghy was the second, and Copley third.
Names of the nominees for the two seats will be sent to the Snohomish County Council, which will make the appointments. The council is expected to act next week.
Whoever is appointed will serve through the 2022 general election when both seats will be on the ballot.
Lovick, a retired Washington State Patrol trooper, began his political career on the Mill Creek City Council. He won a state House seat in 1998, and he was in his fifth term in 2007 when he ran for Snohomish County sheriff and won.
He 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.
Lovick wasn’t out of office long. When Hans Dunshee resigned his state House seat to replace Somers on the County Council, Lovick was picked for that vacancy in 2016 and voters have kept him in office. 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 Senate term next year. As of Friday, he’d raised $15,089 for his campaign.
Paddock, who works for Dell Technologies, is a Mill Creek planning commissioner. He is making his first foray into elective politics in the area. He has already set up a campaign website for the 2022 election cycle.
“I’m humbled and honored and just look forward to the county council vote,” he said.
Donaghy, a Navy veteran, is chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for the 44th District Democrats. In November, she ran for Snohomish County Council and lost to incumbent Republican Councilmember Sam Low.
Copley lost her bid for Lake Stevens City Council by 130 votes to incumbent Councilman Gary Petershagen. Copley retired from Boeing and, until recently, worked for the city of Shoreline. She’s a member of the Lake Stevens for BIPOC organization.
Anne Anderson, of Lake Stevens, also sought the appointment but didn’t get enough votes to make the three-person list. She unsuccessfully for state representative in 2020. She is a consultant for nonprofits and a registered lobbyist with Toyer Strategic Advisors. She is a former executive director of Victim Support Services and the Lake Stevens Community Food Bank.
Under the proposed legislative districts map required by the most recent Census, Lake Stevens could be in another district.