Sen. John Smith, R-Colville, took the oath of office Monday, Jan. 14 to become senator for the 7th Legislative District.
Early on Monday before the official kickoff of this year’s legislative session, Supreme Court Justice James Johnson administered the oath to Smith, who stood before friends and family.
“Taking the oath of office was not only the culmination of events over the past several weeks but a proud moment in my life,” Smith said. “The 7th District is the place I call home, and my love for the region, the culture, and the people is why I am honored to serve them in the Senate. My 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 district’s abundant natural-resources.”
Smith will serve on the Senate Trade and Economic Development, Natural Resources and Parks, and Transportation committees. In addition to being a Republican senator, Smith is part of the new Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, which formed in December for the purpose of leading the Senate in a way that encourages more collaboration and emphasizes policy over politics.
“I am looking forward to getting to work,” Smith said. “I 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. The coalition’s principles clearly define our state’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. It is suggested that one of the best ways to advance a child’s education is to keep the parents employed, and the best way to increase school funding is to improve the economy in general.”
Smith was appointed Jan. 3 by commissioners from each of the represented five counties in the district to replace retired Sen. Bob Morton. The 2013 legislative session began Monday, Jan. 14, and is scheduled to last 105 days.
In This Photo: Sen. John Smith is sworn into office by Justice James Johnson.