Dear Friends and Neighbors,

For those of you who have worked with or been served by my office, I wanted you to know that we are undergoing staffing changes. For one, in what has been called the “end of an era,” Linda Owens is retiring this week!

Thank you Linda!

More than a decade ago, Linda Owens accepted an offer to come work with me in the State Senate and during that time she has remained a trusted assistant, office manager, advisor, and friend. As my Executive Legislative Assistant, she has helped thousands of our neighbors navigate complex questions regarding our state government, particularly during the challenges of this pandemic. She is an active member of our community, has always put constituents of the 23rd District first, and consistently and quietly roots for the underdog. She has also been instrumental in historic gains we’ve made in the Legislature in recent years, particularly around environmental and natural resource issues. I’ll miss her dedication to our state and her thoughtful advice, but I wish her the best as she begins a well-deserved retirement. If you want to send Linda a note before she leaves, you can email her at

Thank you Haylee!

I am also saying goodbye to my Legislative Assistant Haylee Anderson. She brought a wealth of talent to our office over the past two years and I am excited to watch her grow into her new role as the Deputy Legislative Director for the Attorney General’s office.

Welcome Jennifer and Lily

I’m excited to welcome two new members to my team. Jennifer Smolen-Fort will serve as my Executive Legislative Assistant. Jennifer most recently worked in the same position for our former Transportation Chair Steve Hobbs. She is a military veteran who brings years of legislative experience to the office, and I know she will be a strong advocate for Kitsap constituents. Lily O’Doherty is a recent graduate of Washington State University and spent the last legislative session working in the House of Representatives. She will serve as my Legislative Assistant and I know she is eager to help our team make a difference for our district. You can reach Jennifer at and Lily at Lily.O’ .

I hope you have a peaceful holiday season and I’ll be in touch after the New Year to keep you up to speed on the 2022 legislative session, which begins on Jan. 10.

Stay healthy,