Federal Way Council member Jesse Johnson was appointed on Monday to fill the vacant 30th District seat. Courtesy photo

Federal Way Council member Jesse Johnson was appointed on Monday to fill the vacant 30th District seat. Courtesy photo

Federal Way Council member Johnson appointed as 30th District representative

Jesse Johnson fills seat vacated by former Rep. Kristine Reeves.

Federal Way City Council member Jesse Johnson was officially appointed on Monday as the 30th District representative to replace Kristine Reeves in the state Legislature.

Johnson beat out fellow nominees Jamila Taylor and Sam Rise for the appointment, both of whom congratulated Johnson on the win.

Neither can speak to their next steps currently, though both view the future as full of possibilities.

Several King and Pierce county council members spoke in favor of the decision to appoint Johnson, citing him as being the highest voted nominee by the 30th District Democrats, as well as his work in higher education and as a Federal Way Council member.

King County Council member Pete von Reichbauer announced Johnson as the chosen appointment for the seat Reeves vacated seat in December, and said his decision was because of Johnson’s connection to caring for the present and future of the local community.

“He is quite frankly a great reflection … of this community,” von Reichbauer said.

King County Council member Dave Upthegrove also supported Johnson’s appointment, and told him he had big shoes to fill as Reeves’ replacement.

Upthegrove added there was not a single nominee that he would not have the honor to work with in Olympia.

Pierce County Council member Connie Ladenburg spoke to Taylor and Rise, telling them not to give up though this may be disappointing news.

“There is a future for you because you are great people and I really do want to encourage you to continue on,” she said.

Johnson was sworn into office shortly after his appointment by Federal Way Judge Dave Larsen in the council chambers.

He said he is thankful for the opportunity and excited to begin working on issues that are important to the community.

“I have viewed much of my work on the City Council through the lenses of equity, inclusion and social justice and will continue to weave these important values into my work in Olympia,” Johnson said.

The 2020 legislative short session begins Monday and will continue for the next 60 days.

On the second day of the 2020 Legislative Session, “Johnson has met with constituents, attended two committee hearings, co-sponsored a housing justice bill and begun the process of hiring a legislative assistant,” according to a press release.

“People are counting on me to represent our community and the people I grew up with, who have kids in the school district I graduated from, and who have seen cost of living go up long after they have retired, they need a representative ready to hit the ground working, so that’s what I’m doing,” said Johnson after his second committee hearing of the day.

“I wish him the best of luck in this new public service role,” she told the Mirror.

Reeves stepped down from her seat on Dec. 16, 2019 and is currently starting her campaign to represent Washington’s 10th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Commissioner James Fossos resigns from South King Fire board after lengthy absence

Fossos’s resignation is effective Feb. 29; South King Fire & Rescue board has until May 29 to fill the vacancy.

Vote for Best of Federal Way 2020

Vote for your favorite Federal Way restaurants, businesses, community leaders and more.

Don’t forget: Vote for Best of Federal Way businesses, leaders and more

Click here to vote for your favorite Federal Way restaurants, businesses, community leaders and more.

Aerial view of the Amtrak Cascades train derailment in 2017 near DuPont, Wash. Courtesy Wikipedia
Amtrak, Sound Transit and the state all named in derailment lawsuit

It was filed on behalf of the family of a teenager who was paralyzed in the 2017 crash.

Pacific Bonsai Museum in Federal Way aims to restore stolen bonsai, raise funds to enhance security

National attention of the bonsai burglary brings an outpouring of support for the museum; anonymous donor to match donations made to the bonsai campaign until March 2.

Needles littered the ground throughout a homeless encampment at Federal Way’s Hylebos Wetlands, which is public property. Sound Publishing file photo
Republican leadership doubts effectiveness of homelessness spending

Democrats propose hundreds of millions toward affordable housing.

Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht gave a response to an Office of Law Enforcement Oversight report on Feb. 25 before the King County Law and Justice Committee. The report recommended ways her department could reform use of force policy and internal investigations. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Council unsatisfied with Sheriff’s response to use of deadly force report

The King County Sheriff’s Office could be required to explain why it didn’t implement recommendations.

King County approves low-income Metro fare waivers

Low-income transit riders could see their King County Metro fares waived beginning… Continue reading

King County Council has nine members who each represent a district. Courtesy of kingcounty.gov
Charter amendments could allow King County Council to remove elected officials

The change was recommended by the charter review commission.

Most Read