Sharon Brown was sworn in Monday as senator from the 8th Legislative District, and it is probably worth mentioning that she is the fifth freshman in the state Senate this year who has joined the ranks due to a vacancy in office. Brown, a Republican, is taking over for longtime senator Jerome Delvin, who left office Friday to become Benton County commissioner.
Just before session started, John Smith of Colville replaced Bob Morton, R-Kettle Falls, who retired mid-term from the 7th Legislative District. And on Jan. 21, Dr. Nathan Schlicher of Gig Harbor took over for Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, who resigned after winning election to the congressional position vacated by former U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks. Schlicher works in the emergency department of St. Joseph’s Medical Center.
The three might be new this year, but it should be noted that they aren’t the only Senate freshmen this session who have entered because of vacancies in office, rather than the ordinary process of election. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, was sworn in earlier than most members of this year’s freshman class, because he filled the seat vacated by state Sen. Cheryl Pflug, R-Maple Valley. That seat had been filled temporarily by GOP stalwart Dino Rossi. And Ann Rivers, R-La Center, was the first of the class. She was sworn in last summer, because she was appointed to take over for Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, who resigned six months before his term was due to end. Both Mullet and Rivers won election in November 2012.
Here’s the press release about Brown’s appointment, from the Majority Coalition Caucus:
Tri-Cities’ New Senator Brings Mid-Columbia Values to Legislature
OLYMPIA, Feb. 4.– After taking the oath of office administered by Washington State Supreme Court Justice James Johnson, the Senate’s newest member, Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, affirmed her desire to bring to state government the values that have made the Tri-Cities successful.
Brown, who served as Kennewick mayor pro tem until her recent appointment to fill the 8th Legislative District Senate seat vacated by former Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland, was flanked by husband Fraser Hawley and daughter Kenzie during her swearing-in ceremony Monday.
“It is truly an honor to represent the people of the 8th Legislative District, and it is my intention to educate some of my western Washington colleagues about ways the Tri-Cities have succeeded in the hope that what we’ve done can serve as a statewide model,” Brown said. “During my four years as a city councilor I have seen firsthand how decisions made in Olympia don’t always translate well across the rest of Washington, and I want to add my voice to the chorus working on behalf of our central and eastern Washington residents.”
Brown will serve on the Senate Agriculture, Water and Rural Economic Development Committee, the Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee, the Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee, and the Transportation Committee. Aside from serving on the Kennewick City Council, in her professional life, Brown is an attorney for Hanford subcontractor Longnecker & Associates.
Brown has five children. Her twin 24-year-old sons have degrees from Washington State University, her youngest son is an engineering student at the University of Washington, her oldest daughter is attending Colby College in Maine, and her youngest daughter is a junior at Hanford High School. Brown graduated from Franklin Pierce Law Center in New Hampshire.