Sen. Ann Rivers stepping down from Legislature for city job

LA CENTER, Wash. (AP) — A Republican state senator announced Monday that she will resign from the Legislature for a job in southwestern Washington.

Sen. Ann Rivers of La Center said she will be community development director for the city of Longview and will begin the job this week, The Columbian reported.

Rivers said she has not yet decided when her final day as a senator will be, but she expects it will come before January.

“I wasn’t looking for a job — this one found me,” Rivers said in a news release. “The more I was drawn to this opportunity, the more it seemed clear there would be a choice to make. Being a senator is officially a part-time position, but it becomes full-time every January when a new session begins. Two full-time jobs would be a lot to handle, even if only for a matter of months each year.”

Senate Republican Leader John Braun, of Centralia, said Rivers’ tireless work will be missed.

“I was very much looking forward to another year with Sen. Rivers as the chair of our caucus, because of the experience and the energy she’s brought to that position. At the same time, this is a great opportunity for her to take on an important local leadership role in our region,” Braun said.

In a tweet Monday, Democratic Lt. Gov. Denny Heck said, “Sen. Ann Rivers has been a powerful voice for Clark County in Olympia, and she will be greatly missed in the Senate.”

Rivers said serving the people of the 18th District has been among the great privileges of her life.

Rivers was first elected in 2010, serving two terms in the House of Representatives before her appointment to the Senate in June 2012. She won a four-year Senate term in 2012 and was reelected in 2016 and 2020.

She has also served on the Senate Republican Caucus’ senior leadership team during a majority of her time in the Senate.

The Republican central committee from Clark County will nominate three candidates to replace Rivers, and the Clark County Council will choose who will serve until the November 2022 election. The candidate who wins during that election will serve the remainder of Rivers’ term.