Recently appointed Sen. John Smith took the oath of office on Jan. 13 to become the 7th Legislative District senator.
Prior to the official kickoff of this yearâ€™s legislative session, Supreme Court Justice James Johnson administered the oath to Smith, who stood before friends and family.
â€śTaking the oath of office was not only the culmination of events over the past several weeks but a proud moment in my life,â€ť Smith said. â€śMy goal is to be a voice for Northeastern Washington and center my attention on the economy and how we can rejuvenate it through better use of our districtâ€™s abundant natural-resources.â€ť
Smith will serve on the Senate Trade and Economic Development, Natural Resources and Parks, and Transportation committees.
Smith, a Republican, is part of the new Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, which formed in December in hopes of leading the Senate in a way that encourages more collaboration and emphasizes policy over politics.
â€śI am looking forward to getting to work,â€ť Smith said. â€śI am glad to join the Majority Coalition Caucus during a time when we need to have a united and bipartisan focus on the needs of our state and citizens.
â€śThe coalitionâ€™s principles clearly define our stateâ€™s biggest priorities and reflect my focus this session: produce a sustainable budget, develop a thriving economic environment where jobs are plentiful, and create a world-class education system. Each priority is independently important, yet together they can create a ripple effect of positive change across our entire state.
â€śIt is suggested that one of the best ways to advance a childâ€™s education is to keep the parents employed, and the best way to increase school funding is to improve the economy in general.â€ť
Smith was unanimously appointed on Jan. 3 by commissioners from each of the represented five counties in the district to replace retired Sen. Bob Morton.