As expected, Rep. Joe McDermott (D-Seattle) has been appointed to the state Senate seat in the 34th District (West Seattle, Burien, Vashon Island) to replace Sen. Erik Poulsen. McDermott, a graduate of the University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs was chosen Monday by the Metropolitan King County Council to succeed Poulsen who left the Senate earlier this month to become chief of the Washington Public Utilities Districts Association.
Senator Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camano Island) has announced her intention to run for re-election in 2008. The chairwoman of the powerful Senate Transportation Committee has served in the legislature for 24 years, including the last 14 in the Senate. She is the longest serving member of the Senate Democratic Caucus. Her 10th legislative district includes Island County and parts of Snohomish and Skagit Counties in La Conner and Stanwood.
Governor Gregoire has appointed Paula Hammond to be the state’s new Secretary of Transportation. Hammond, who is the first woman to serve in this position, had been interim director since Doug McDonald stepped down in July. Hammond is an Oregon native with an engineering degree from Oregon State University and most recently served as Deputy Secretary of the department.
Former state Senator Gene Prince died unexpectedly last Saturday at the age of 77. Prince was originally elected to the House of Representatives in 1981 where he served until his election to the state Senate in 1992. He served in the Senate until 1999 when he was appointed chairman of the state Liquor Control Board. Prince was a moderate Republican who specialized in transportation, agriculture and higher education issues.