Ann Rivers announces intent to leave state senate

New job with city of Longview leads to veteran lawmaker’s decision to step aside

LA CENTER —  Sen. Ann Rivers issued a statement today (Oct. 4) on her legislative website stating she intends to step down from the 18th District position in the state Senate, after accepting the position of community development director for the city of Longview.

Sen. Ann Rivers
Sen. Ann Rivers

Rivers, (Republican, La Center), begins her new job this week. She hasn’t settled on when her final day as a senator will be, but expects it will come before the 2022 legislative session begins in January.

“I wasn’t looking for a job – this one found me,” Rivers explained. “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.

“Stepping away will be hard, because serving the people of the 18th District has been among the great privileges of my life. At the same time, I have long-standing ties to Longview and am very excited that my next role as a public servant will begin there.”

Rivers was elected as an 18th District legislator in January 2011, serving two sessions in the House of Representatives before her appointment to the Senate in June 2012. She won a full 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, moving up to the number-two position of caucus chair for the 2021 session.

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driving; addressing a significant backlog of rape-kit processing; and negotiating the landmark overhaul of the state’s outdated education-funding system, in connection with the state Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling.

Senate Republican Leader John Braun offered this response to today’s announcement by Sen. Rivers.

“Having served with Senator Rivers for nine years, from a neighboring district, I know how hard she has worked for the people of the 18th District, and our state,’’ Braun said. “I also appreciate how she has been fearless in taking on our state’s most difficult problems, like the successful multi-year effort to come up with a new funding approach for our public K-12 schools. Because of her focus on finding solutions without concern for who receives the credit, she will leave the Senate with a legacy of policies that are important to the people of our state.

“I was very much looking forward to another year with Senator Rivers as the chair of our caucus, because of the experience and the energy she’s brought to that position,’’ Braun stated. “At the same time, this is a great opportunity for her to take on an important local leadership role in our region. We will deeply miss her leadership, but wish her the very best in this new chapter of her life.”

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K.J. Hinton
1 year ago

Early on, she actually was a Republican. She took hard, conservative votes and was instrumental in killing the hated CRC.

But within a few years, that all changed. She lied about her position on the gas tax and tab fees (which she worked to provide the highest increases in either in this state’s history), clobbered us (along with Wilson) with her horrific McCleary vote that caused our property taxes to explode unnecessarily so teachers could get paid off… For nothing… And then began her moronic hobby of joining with fringe democrats on their social engineering bills, like requiring corporate boards in Washington state to be either 25% female or those who IDENTIFIED as female.

THEN, they got to her and she completely flipped on her CRC scam position, now supporting that rip off

Ultimately, she became a stain on the history of the 18th district and her absence from the legislature is to be celebrated.

But as a Cowlitz resident, I have to wonder why Longview would hire someone with a repeatedly proven record of zero political integrity. Her and Jim Walsh are a perfect match for that area.

In short, don’t let the door hit you on the way out… An exit long overdue.

Lew Waters
Lew Waters
1 year ago

Given the disarray within the Clark County Republicans, I wonder if they will be able to put aside their infighting long enough to nominate three people to go before the County Council to replace her.

It should also be noted that she was a very major player in stopping the rip-off Columbia River Crossing project.

Her work and efforts on behalf of constituents and all citizens of Southwest Washington will be missed.

Kirk VanGelder
Kirk VanGelder
1 year ago
Reply to  Lew Waters

But she has flipped on the CRC recently and has been moving further to the left. So I, for one am glad she is moving on. And her attempt to replace Liz Pike with the center-left Shane Bowman was another low point.

1 year ago

Senator Rivers boldly defended medical freedom in 2019. She upheld provisions in WA state law for parents to opt-out their child in childcare centers or K-12 schools from some or all school vaccinations, upholding exemptions for religious, medical, or natural immunity reasons. In 2019, Employees in child care centers and volunteers were legislated for vaccination with the MMR vaccine. Senators like Rivers stood up for child care workers, and a natural immunity provision is included so that daycare center nature school workers can provide laboratory evidence of immunity, or a healthcare providers’ attestation that they are immune based on having had the measles. Today, healthcare workers, state employees, educators and others who have had a COVID infection and are likely naturally immune are facing administrative leave without pay and/or job loss due to the Governor’s personal proclamation of a vaccine mandate, instead of following the legislative process including public hearings. I hope whoever is appointed will stand up for the rights of WA residents to medical freedom, the right to decide which medical products and approaches to use, or not use. See article Medical Exemption for Natural Immunity Granted

Carolyn Crain
1 year ago

It will be very difficult to replace such a strong ethical woman in our senate. She has stepped up for medical autonomy, for children and parental rights, against common core, against comprehensive sex education, for SW Washington commuters against the Columbia River Crossing, for finances to actually process criminal evidence in rape cases, on issues related to marijuana, against the long term (which isn’t really) care insurance tax, against carbon taxes, and so on and so on.
She assisted so many people when she took on our state’s scandal surrounding the unemployment claims during covid shutdowns.
She has been targeted by the left with an attempt to redistrict her out of her seat which I think bears witness to the fact that the Democrat Progressive Liberals are afraid of her strength.
She could be a future governor and our state would be blessed if she were!

Chuck Miller
Chuck Miller
1 year ago
Reply to  Carolyn Crain

Senator Ann Rivers almost lost her last election to a True Republican Constitutional Conservative who the CCRP endorsed because Rivers voted with the Democrats for the Highest gas tax ever passed in Washington State and in 2018 Co-sponsored a bill with Democrat Senator Annett Cleveland that allow women to sell babies, making them a commodity in Washngton State, only 1 Republican Senator voted with Rivers, Joe Fain who lost his Senate position the same year, the Democrats passed the Bill and Governor Inslee signed it into law!!! This is an example of who Senator Ann Rivers is and the Faithful Republican Citizens of Clark County will be happy when Rivers is out the door!!!

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