Historic vote: County Council appoints Lovick and Donaghy to state legislature

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., December 16, 2021 – At its 3 p.m. meeting yesterday, Snohomish County Council members voted to appoint John Lovick as state Senator and Brandy Donaghy as state Representative to the 44th Legislative District. This is a historic moment for Snohomish County as the 44th LD becomes the first and only district in the county to have an all-Black delegation at the state level.

On November 10, Governor Jay Inslee announced that local Snohomish County resident and State Senator Steve Hobbs (LD-44) will replace Kim Wyman for Secretary of State who accepted a job with the Biden administration. On November 22, Hobbs was officially Sworn in.

Steve Hobbs resigned from elected office as the State Senator in State Legislative District (LD) 44 with an effective date of November 10, 2021. The resignation left a vacancy in a term that expires on January 6, 2023. Vacancies occurring in a partisan elective office shall be filled by appointment of a county legislative authority pursuant to Article II, Section 15 of the Constitution of the State of Washington and Snohomish County Charter Section 4.80.

The person appointed must be:

  • From the same legislative district as the state senator whose office become vacated; and
  • Affiliated with the same party as the state senator whose office became vacated; and
  • Selected by a county legislative authority from a list of three nominees selected by the party county committee.

If a nominee is not appointed within sixty days of a vacancy occurring, then the governor appoints a nominee within the thirty days following the end of the first sixty days.

State Senate vacancy

The Democrat Party convened to select three nominees: John Lovick, Laura Hathaway, and Greg Pratt.

On December 8, 2021, nominees were asked to submit a one-page resume and responses to the following by December 13, 2021:

  1. In 200 words or fewer, please describe your top priorities for the 44th Legislative District.
  2. In 200 words or fewer, please describe your position for adopting policies that must be implemented on a local level without funding from the State, i.e. unfunded state mandates.
  3. In 200 words or fewer, please describe how you would work collaboratively with both parties in Olympia?
  4. The response to reduce the rate of spread of the COVID-19 virus has result in significant impacts to our economy. In 200 words or fewer, please describe the steps you plan to take to mitigate these impacts on private employers, residents and state/local government.

At the December 15th council meeting, each nominee was publicly interviewed by each councilmember. After the interview process, County Council Chair Stephanie Wright called Motion 21-460 to the floor making an appointment to a vacancy for State Senator in Washington’s 44th State Legislative District. The motion was seconded by Councilman Jared Mead.

Because a name must be associated with the motion, Council Chair Wright immediately motioned to amend the original motion on the floor to include the name “John Lovick” which Councilman Mead seconded. The amendment to the motion passed unanimously.

44th Legislative District
Photo courtesy of John Lovick.

The amended motion to appoint John Lovick to fill the vacancy for State Senator in Washington’s 44th State Legislative District was then voted upon and passed unanimously.

“I want to thank all three candidates for putting there names forward,” Councilman Low said.

“Rep. Lovick has done a lot for our community,” Councilman Mead added. “I am a member of the 44th District. I was very lucky to serve with him a couple years in the State House. He is an incredible public servant, friend and mentor in our community and to me personally.”

“I appreciate his [Lovick] years of service to the county and to the state and look forward supporting him as senator,” said Council Vice Chair Dunn.

“I had the honor of working with John Lovick as Sheriff, Executive, State Representative, and I look forward to working with him as a State Senator,” said Council Chair Wright. “He has served us well and I appreciate everything he brings to Snohomish County.”

After confirming receipt of his resignation by the county staff, now Senator Lovick thanked everyone for their confidence in his leadership.  

“Thank you madam chair. I want you to know that I am humbled and honored,” said Senator Lovick.

Senator Lovick, a longtime resident of Mill Creek, served as a State Trooper for 31 years and was named Trooper of the Year in 1992.  He was elected Sheriff of Snohomish County in 2007 and served as Snohomish County Executive from 2013 – 2015. Until last night’s resignation, Lovick has been serving the Washington state House since 2016.

State Representative vacancy

Because Lovick was one of two state representatives in LD 44, his resignation left a vacancy for the Council to appoint a replacement from a list of nominees by the Democrat Party. The same laws that apply to the Senate appointment applied to the appointment for State Representative.

The Democrat Party convened earlier in the month and selected the following three nominees: Sean Paddock, Brandy Donaghy, and Joyce Copley.

44th Legislative District
Brandy Donaghy

After the interview process and following an Executive Session to privately discuss the qualifications of each of the House nominees, Council Chair Wright motioned, which was seconded by Councilman Mead, to move Motion 21-461, making an appointment to a vacancy for State Representative in Washington’s 44th State Legislative District.

Because a name must be associated with the motion, Council Chair Wright immediately motioned to amend the original motion on the floor to include the name “Brandy Donaghy” which Councilman Mead seconded.

“I am actually going to be voting no to this [amendment to add Brandy Donaghy] in respect to the PCO vote which was overwhelming for Sean,” Councilwoman Dunn said. “I really appreciate Brandy’s work and I know she is going to do a great job. But I need to support the PCOs and their effort and work in the district. So, I am going to be a respectful no vote.”

The amendment to the motion passed 4-1 with Councilwoman Dunn voting against.

The amended motion to appoint Brandy Donaghy to fill the vacancy for State Representative in Washington’s 44th State Legislative District was then voted upon and passed unanimously.

“It is wonderful when we have three high caliber candidates,” Wright said. “Thank you all for your time and commitment.”

Councilman Nate Nehring added, “I thought all three of you did a very good job during the interview and I would encourage all three of you to stay involved.”

Donaghy moved to Snohomish County in 2011 with her family. Besides being an active church volunteer, she is a community educator, organizer, and has served on several boards and committees. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Business with a concentration in Management Information Systems from the University of Washington – Bothell. Donaghy is a U.S. Navy veteran with an appreciation for the arts, enjoys cooking, and an avid reader.

Term of Appointments

Senator Lovick will serve until the certification of the November 2022 election at which point in time the person elected to serve in the position shall serve the remaining portion of the unexpired term and continue to serve in the term commencing January 1, 2023.

Representative Donaghy will serve until the certification of the November 2022 election at which point in time the person elected to serve in the position shall serve the remaining portion of the unexpired term and continue to serve in the term commencing January 1, 2023.

An excited Donaghy was sworn-in the evening of December 15 by Snohomish Superior Court Judge Edirin Okoloko.

The 44th Legislative District is now represented by Senator John Lovick (D), and State Representatives April Berg (D) and Brandy Donaghy (D).

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

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