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County Council appoints Rodne to Olympia

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SNOQUALMIE - Just about everything in Snoqualmie resident Jay Rodne's life changed last week after a vote by the Metropolitan King County Council.

At its Jan. 20 meeting, the council appointed Rodne to fill the 5th District State Representative seat left vacant by Cheryl Pflug (R-Maple Valley), who was appointed two weeks earlier to take over state Senator Dino Rossi's (R-Sammamish) seat.

The move wasn't a total surprise to Rodne, who had been involved in discussions with the King County Republican Party since Rossi resigned to run for governor this year.

After resigning his Snoqualmie City Council position to take the appointment, Rodne was thrown into the fray of the Legislative session, which started Jan. 12. During his few days in Olympia last week, Rodne attended non-stop meetings with state legislators, was assigned to three committees (health care, transportation and trade and economic development) and voted on his first bill.

"It's a tremendous learning curve," he said. "It's like drinking from a fire hose."

Rodne, an attorney for a Bellevue law firm, settled into his new office on the fourth floor of the John L. O'Brien building. Rodne is a new guy in town, so he has been placed in one of the more Spartan accommodations.

"I call it, affectionately, the 'Freshman Suite,'" he said.

Rodne has had a brief but successful run in Snoqualmie politics, winning his first City Council campaign in 2001. Last year he took a six-month leave of absence to serve as a Marine Corps reservist in the Middle East.

He has been an attorney for the Peick and Associates firm but will leave to become a full-time legislator. Rodne said he hopes to continue doing some legal work when not in session.

Now that the entire 5th District (which stretches from Sammamish and Maple Valley eastward to Snoqualmie Pass) is his coverage area, Rodne said he will be spending his weekends getting to know his new constituents. When the session is over this spring, Rodne will have to gear up for his re-election campaign. Democrats in the 5th District have promised a challenger to his seat, and Rodne will be fighting for his new job until November.

For now, Rodne is getting to know Olympia and the people who make up the state capitol. He said the experiences he gained working as a councilman for Snoqualmie prepared him well for his new position, and that he is thankful to be a Snoqualmie resident working for the good of the state.

"I really hope to do some good things here," Rodne said.

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