One of Washington’s lawmakers who represents much of North Clark County won’t step down from her role as initially planned.
In a social media post on Dec. 14, state Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, announced she has reconsidered her resignation from her position. In October, Rivers stated she would step down from the seat after she accepted a job as community development director for the city of Longview.
Rivers initially intended to resign due to the expected workload of the position in Longview.
“I was worried that working full time wouldn’t allow me to give to my district in the manner in which I have given and served for over a decade,” Rivers wrote. “But as I got into the job, I realized that I had the time, capacity and bandwidth to do both with equal enthusiasm and commitment.”
Rivers has represented the 18th Legislative District, which contains the cities of Battle Ground, Ridgefield and La Center, since 2011 when she was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives. She received an appointment to the state Senate the following year, winning that year’s election and subsequent elections in 2016 and 2020.
“I recognize it’s rare for someone to ‘unannounce’ a retirement before retiring, but I also didn’t know when I went to work for the city that continuing to finish my legislative term was even a possibility,” Rivers wrote.
She said the city of Longview has given her “both the space, and the grace,” to allow her to continue policy work in the Legislature while also serving in the city’s community development department.
In October, Rivers said she did not actively seek out the position in Longview.
“I wasn’t looking for a job — this one found me,” Rivers said at the time.
She noted Washington’s Legislature is part-time and those who serve are able to maintain their careers outside of their elected offices.
“Our Legislature has been made up over the years of teachers, doctors, law enforcement, attorneys, businesspeople, and more, who when session is adjourned, go back to their professions,” Rivers wrote.
For most of her tenure in Olympia, she said she’s focused exclusively on legislative work, which led her to initially consider stepping down from the position.
“After much deep consideration and after talking with my husband, constituents, my caucus leaders, and others, it’s clear to me that I can be impactful in both forms of public service,” Rivers wrote.
The state senator said she would separate her time serving in Olympia from the time she serves in Longview as she dedicates different times to the respective responsibilities, “no different than any other lawmaker who time-manages their career with their elected office duties.”
The reversal of Rivers’ decision means the 18th Legislative District will remain fully represented.
After her initial announcement in October, the Clark County Republican Party Central Committee announced it would take on the process to select nominations for a replacement when a resignation date was announced. The Clark County Council would have ultimately approved a replacement.
“I’m excited to continue to represent all of you for the foreseeable future,” Rivers wrote. “My door continues to be open to help meet your needs and make sure my community is well-represented at the capitol.”
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