Rivers begins service as 18th District’s state senator

Sen. Ann Rivers says she is up and running as the 18th Legislative District’s new senator after a visit to the Capitol this morning. Rivers, R-LaCenter, was appointed Monday by Clark and Cowlitz county commissioners to succeed former Sen. Joseph Zarelli, who stepped down May 31 after 17 years of service.

For Rivers, who was elected to the House of Representatives from the district in 2010, today’s trip to Olympia was mostly to handle administrative tasks related to the move and get acquainted with Senate Republican staff members and other Senate officials.

“My priorities are the same: strengthen our economy, protect taxpayers by prioritizing state spending, offer every child an opportunity to succeed scholastically, and make sure vital transportation projects are moving forward,” Rivers said. “I’ll just be working toward them in a new setting, with a new group of people, while maintaining the positive working relationships I established during my years as a state representative.”

Rivers expects her open-minded approach to making public policy will fit well in the Senate.

“If you look at what the Legislature has accomplished lately, in terms of smarter budgeting and government reform, it’s clear the Senate Republicans have led the way,” Rivers said. “Senator Zarelli deserves much of the credit for that progress, and I’ll miss serving with him – but one of the things he and I have in common is a willingness to work with anyone to address the issues facing southwest Washington and our state as a whole. I expect to have more opportunities to do that now, given how the Senate has set a new standard for bipartisanship these past two years.”

Following Monday’s appointment Rivers stood in front of family members and friends and was sworn in by a Clark County Superior Court judge. In the Senate chamber this morning, before state Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson, she repeated the oath of office in a ceremony common with newly appointed lawmakers. Rivers then signed certificates and other papers needed to make the move official and relocate her office, which will continue to be staffed by legislative assistant Liz Coleman.

Rivers said 18th District residents may reach her several ways:

Street address: 204 Newhouse Building Mailing address: P.O. Box 40418, Olympia, WA 98504-0418 E-mail: ann.rivers@leg.wa.gov Phone: 360-786-7634 or (toll-free) 1-800-562-6000 Website: senaterepublicans.wa.gov/rivers