Mike Padden, a 33-year resident of the Spokane Valley and former district court judge, returned to the Legislature today when he took the oath of office as the new state senator from the 4th Legislative District. Padden won a Nov. 8 special election to fill the seat that came open earlier this year when Sen. Bob McCaslin resigned for health reasons.
“I am very honored and humbled to be given this opportunity to once again represent my friends and neighbors in the Fourth District,” said Padden, who previously served as a citizen legislator in Olympia for more than 14 years in the state House, starting in 1981. “My goal is to help get state government back on the road to fiscal sanity and sustainable budgets, while protecting our most vulnerable citizens and using my years of experience on the bench to improve our courts and corrections system.”
Padden, who was sworn in today by Supreme Court Justice Jim Johnson, has been assigned to serve on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which considers tax and spending legislation. He will also be on two other key committees: Human Services and Corrections and Judiciary. His office is located at 417 Legislative Building, and his legislative office phone number is (360) 786-7606. His legislative assistant will be Mike McCliment, who served the 4th District for 14 years as an assistant to McCaslin.
Padden knows that he is returning to the Legislature during what could be one of the most challenging and contentious sessions in recent memory, but says he will bring the leadership skills necessary to help solve big problems.
“I have always believed that it is vital to stand strong on principle, while being willing to engage the process and forge coalitions in order to get things done,” Padden said. “I will bring that philosophy to the Senate, standing firm on the principle that we need to focus on reforms before revenue, reject higher taxes, reduce the size of government, and defend the family. At the same time, I plan to fully engage with members of both parties and both chambers to achieve real solutions for all Washingtonians.”
Padden attended Assumption grade school in Seattle and Seattle Preparatory School, before graduating with a degree in Political Science from Gonzaga University. He earned his law degree in 1974 from Gonzaga Law School.
Padden and his wife Laura are the parents of five sons. Padden is an active member of his church, having served six years on the parish council.