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Ranker hopes to get appointed to Transportation, Natural Resources, and K-12 committees
Senator-elect Kevin Ranker's first post-election challenge?
"I hope to be able to take a nap," he quipped Wednesday.
Well, perhaps he can catch a cat nap.
Ranker, 38, was elected to the 40th District state Senate seat Tuesday, outpolling former state representative Steve Van Luven. Updated results from the Secretary of State's office show Ranker with 28,593 to Van Luven's 19,148 as of 10:31 a.m. today.
State senators serve four-year terms. They earn $42,106 a year.
When he takes office in January, Ranker will be possibly the first San Juan County resident to serve in the state Senate since John Blair about 100 years ago (several islanders have served in the state House of Representatives, among them William Schulz of Roche Harbor, Victor J. Capron of Friday Harbor, Henry Cayou of Orcas Island, Sam R. Buck of Friday Harbor, and Violet Boede of Orcas Island).
Next week, Ranker will vie for appointment to the Transportation; Natural Resources, Ocean & Recreation; and Early Learning & K-12 Education committees. By year's end, he must hire a legislative aide and an administrative aide. And he must find an office location.
Meanwhile, Ranker will serve out his term on the San Juan County Council, San Juan South; his term ends Dec. 31.
"I've got meetings as early as next week that I've already been called in to," Ranker said of his pre-Senate responsibilities. "The first meeting is the selection of the Committee on Committees. That's the committee that appoints all the committees and such. That's a pretty big deal because it's very important that I get on the committees that can best represent this community."
The Senate Transportation Committee is the budget and policy committee with jurisdiction over issues relating to movement of goods and people. Included in these issues are the policing of highways and the administration of vehicle and driver licenses.
The Senate Natural Resources, Ocean & Recreation Committee considers issues relating to fish, shellfish and wildlife; forest practices, forest health and forest fire protection; mining and oil and gas exploration; ocean and coastal resources; and recreation. The committee also considers the management of certain state-owned lands, including state forest lands, aquatic lands and state parks; and preserves and conservation areas.
The Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee considers policy and finance issues related to schools and learning from birth through 12th grade and preparation for later learning experiences.
Ranker said Wednesday he will continue to live on San Juan Island but his district office will likely be in Anacortes or Mount Vernon.
"I'd like to have (the office) out here, but I just don't know if that's realistic for the fact that I have to serve the entire district. But I'm not going anywhere. I'm going to (continue) living on the island. You'll still talk to me in the grocery store just like you always have."
Ranker lives on San Juan Island with his wife, Dr. Tina Torri, and their baby daughter.