Rivers will not seek another term in state Senate

Veteran Clark County lawmaker to leave after 14 years

LA CENTER… Sen. Ann Rivers has decided not to run for re-election to the state Senate from Washington’s 18th Legislative District.

Rivers, R-La Center, was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010, appointed to the Senate in mid-2012, then won three four-year terms.

Her decision was driven by an increase in her workload at the city of Longview, where she is assistant city manager, as well as a desire to spend more time with her family.

“Serving the people of Clark County has been such a privilege. This was not an easy choice, but I believe in giving my all to those who have placed their trust in me for so many years. Although my ‘day job’ has been compatible with my legislative service to this point, I can’t promise that will be true going forward, so it’s time to step away,” Rivers said.

Her major accomplishments as a legislator include bringing order to Washington’s medical- and recreational-marijuana laws; updating the state’s law on distracted driving; addressing a significant backlog of rape-kit processing; and negotiating the landmark reform of the state’s outdated school-funding system, in connection with the state Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling.

She is a longtime member of the Senate’s budget and health-care committees, where she has been a staunch advocate for tax relief and protecting and increasing access to basic health care, particularly in rural Washington.

When Rivers went to work for Longview as community development director in October 2021, she announced her intent to step down from the Senate. That changed when city leaders worked with her to figure out how she could handle both positions.

“It turned out I was able to fulfill my commitments to both the city and the people of the 18th District, and I will be forever grateful for how Longview treated me then – just as I’m forever grateful to my family, particularly my husband Fred, for giving me so much encouragement and understanding over these many years.

“This isn’t the end of my public service – there is important work to do in Longview, and it’s a challenging time for the city. But it’s time to close the legislative chapter, at least for now, and I will do that knowing that I always put the people foremost when working on issues,” Rivers said.

“There’s a reason I’ve held around 100 town-hall meetings over the years, and almost all of them in person – I value the personal interaction and believe it makes for better decisions. That’s one of the things I will miss most.”