Meet the Wash. State House Transportation Committee Republicans

Wash. House Transportation Committee will have five new GOP members. Image: Wash State Capitol in winter by Visitor7, Wikimedia Commons

The Washington State House Transportation Committee’s Republican side will have five new members and nine returning members when the Legislature convenes on January 14. We wrote about the Democratic members here.

The Republicans will have a new Committee leader, ranking Republican Ed Orcutt of Kalama. He’s been in the Legislature since 2002 but this will be his first service on the Transportation Transportation Committee. Orcutt is familiar with freight and port issues, given the Port of Kalama is in his district.

“I’m honored to be chosen as the lead House Republican on this committee, “Orcutt commented. ”Our state’s transportation issues are extremely dynamic and complex, varying greatly from one region to the next. We have roads that are critical to our rural residents and agriculture and forestry economies; ports and commercial areas that are important for trade and economic development; and bridges, highways, interchanges and a ferry system used by commuters and for freight transport,” (Rep. Orcutt to serve as ranking Republican on the House Transportation Committee, Washington State House Republicans Website).

Three newly elected Representatives join the Committee:

Dave Hayes, Stanwood. Hayes has spent the majority of his career with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office, currently as a Sergeant in the Special Operations Division. Representing the 10th district, his constituents live in Island County and portions of Skagit and Snohomish counties, including the cities of La Conner, Oak Harbor, and Stanwood. Learn more about Hayes on his campaign website.

Steve O’Ban, University Place. O’Ban graduated from the University of Washington and has worked as an attorney. He has argued in front of the US Supreme court on behalf of Washington State Educators, winning his case against the WEA 9-0. Steve’s 28th district includes his hometown of University Place as well as the areas of Dupont, Fort Lewis, Steilacoom, and Anderson, Ketron, and McNeil Islands. Learn more about O’Ban on his campaign website.

Linda Kochmar, Federal Way. Kochmar has served 14 years on the Federal Way City Council, two terms as Deputy Mayor and one as Mayor. She is a nationally certified Risk Manager, working for Lakehaven Utility District as their Risk Manager. She will represent the 30th District which includes the areas of Federal Way, Milton, Algona and Pacific in King County. Learn all about Kochmar on her campaign website

Kochmar will come to the committee with experience as the Chair of Federal Way’s Land Use and Transportation Committee, as well as a board member of the Puget Sound Regional Council. She is a member of the Airport Communities Coalition, both Federal Way City and Chamber Economic Development committees, and has lobbied in DC for funds to improve the city’s streets.

Also joining the committee are two veteran legislators, Ed Orcutt, who we mentioned earlier, and Joel Kretz of Wauconda (that’s NE Washington, for all you wet-siders).

Orcutt, the new ranking member, works as a forestry consultant and has represented the 18th district since 2002. Due to redistricting, Orcutt now represents 20th district which includes his hometown of Kalama and southwest areas of Centralia and Chehalis.

Joel Kretz brings his experience and relationships from being in the legislature for the past 8 years. He also holds a leadership role as the Deputy Republican Leader. His 7th district includes Pend Oreille, Stevens, Ferry, and parts of Okanogan and Spokane Counties

Washington State House Chamber. Image – Cacophony, Wikimedia Commons

Here’s the Republican Lineup:

Committee Leadership

Rep. Ed Orcutt, Ranking Member (20th district – southwest Centralia, Chehalis, and Kalama)

Mark Hargrove, Assistant Ranking Member (47th district – Federal Way, Auburn and Covington)

Jason Overstreet, Assistant Ranking Member (42nd district – Birch Bay, Blaine, Ferndale, Lynden, Nooksack, Point Roberts, and parts of Bellingham). Overstreet also serves as the assistant whip for the House Republicans.

Returning Committee Members

Jan Angel (26th  district – parts of Pierce and Kitsap Counties on Puget Sound including Bremerton, Port Orchard, Gig Harbor and Fox Island) (Among her priorities is to “ensure a reliable, affordable ferry service” and improve the entire local transportation system. She brings experience as a past Kitsap County commissioner; past president and board member of the PSRC, Growth Management Board of Kitsap Regional Coordinating Council, board member and past chair of Kitsap Transit, etc. (can all be found on her website))

Norm Johnson (14th district – parts of Yakima County down to the Oregon Border)

Brad Klippert (8th district – In South Central Washington, the 8th runs south of the Columbia river and includes Kennewick and Richland)

Dan Kristiansen (39th district – Spans parts of Snohomish, Skagit and King Counties including Seedro-Wooley, Granite Falls, Monroe, Arlington, and Skykomish)  (Note: Kristiansen is also the chair of the House Republican Caucus)

Jay Rodne (5th district – East King County including North Bend, Snoqualmie, Issaquah, and portions of unincorporated King County)

Matt Shea (4th district –Spokane Valley to the Northeast Edge of Spokane County, including Liberty Lake, Millwood, Peone Prairie, Mead, Colbert, Chattaroy, and Elk)

Hans Zeiger (25th district – Parts of Pierce County including Puyallup, Milton, portions of Fife and Edgewood, and the communities of Midland and Summit/South Hill)

Returning Member New to Committee

Joel Kretz (7th district – Pend Oreille, Stevens, Ferry, and parts of Okanogan and Spokane Counties. (He also holds a leadership role as the Deputy Republican Leader)

Newly Elected Committee Members

Dave Hayes (10th district – Island County and portions of Skagit and Snohomish counties, including the cities of La Conner, Oak Harbor, and Stanwood)

Steve O’Ban (28th district – University Place, Dupont, Fort Lewis, Steilacoom, and Anderson, Ketron, and McNeil Islands)

Linda Kochmar (30th district – Federal Way, Milton, Algona and Pacific in King County)