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Ms. Smith goes to Olympia

With the backing of three county governments, Clinton resident Norma Smith was named State Representative on Tuesday.

She replaces Chris Strow, who resigned last month.

Council members and commissioners from Snohomish, Island and Skagit counties unanimously selected Smith during a meeting Tuesday evening in Everett.

“It’s time to hit the ground running,” Smith told the News-Times Wednesday morning. She has a lot of work to do before the legislative session starts Jan. 14. She is in Olympia this week to prepare for the session. She will attended a newcomer’s legislative training session and has to get her office and staff together for the opening of the session.

The county officials also interviewed two other candidates, Stanwood resident Joel Edmonds and Oak Harbor resident Ed Drum. After the interviews, the county leaders went into executive session for discussion. When they returned they voted Smith into office. Because there were five Snohomish County council members and three commissioners from both Island and Skagit counties, each council member’s vote counted for a three-fifths vote.

Smith was sworn in that night by a notary public.

Kathy Jones, president of the Island County Republican Party, was thrilled the county officials followed the recommendation party members made more than a week ago.

“We’re very excited. I think she’s an extremely well-qualified person for this role,” Jones said, adding Smith’s experience working for former Congressman Jack Metcalf and as a school board member on South Whidbey will be a benefit to the 10th Legislative District.

Even though the upcoming session is scheduled for a quick 60 days, Smith has several goals she wants to accomplish.

Like other local legislators, her first priority is to get car ferry service back at the Keystone to Port Townsend ferry route. That route has been without car ferry service since Thanksgiving when transportation officials pulled the 80-year-old Steel Electric vessels from service because of safety concerns.

In addition to restoring the ferry route, Smith said she hopes to introduce legislation requiring Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders to pay for their electronic monitoring devices if they have the means to do so.

She said she will also work to eliminate unfunded mandates that are passed on to the local level.

While she is scrambling to prepare for the coming session, she is grateful to be chosen for the position.

“I’m truly honored that I’ve been given this opportunity to serve,” Smith said.

Smith will serve on the House Transportation; Capital Budget; and, Insurance, Financial Services and Consumer Protection committees.

Smith can be reached by phone at 360-786-7884. Her office is located in Room 417 John L. O’Brien Building, Olympia, WA 98504-0600.

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