Republican State Senator Brad Hawkins of Wenatchee says he won't run for reelection to state office this year and will instead throw his hat in the ring for the Chelan County Commission. 

Hawkins says his decision is based on changes to the 12th district map, which now extends far into King and Snohomish counties and forced his move from East Wenatchee to Wenatchee. 

"Over the past several weeks, we've had drastic changes to these redistricting maps," said Hawkins. "The district is wildly reconfigured. And so, for me, after some careful consideration with my family, I think it would be best to try to dedicate my service locally." 

Hawkins says he'll run for the county commission District 3 seat being vacated by Tiffany Gering. 

He said he’s making his decision early so other local people will have a chance to enter the state senate race. 

Hawkins says the changes to the 12th district will boost the chances of a Democrat getting elected to the seat, although a local Republican could still prevail. 

"I think anytime the district moves west, and you give up some of eastern or central Washington that's certainly the case," Hawkins said. “But I think with the right candidate, I believe someone who could carry Chelan County and do well in the Snohomish County portion of the district would retain the seat." 

The County Commission Position 3 seat Hawkins is now running for represents parts of north Wenatchee, Sunnyslope, and the Lake Chelan area. He noted his family has a history with the commission seat as his father Buell served two terms as Commissioner for District 3. 

Gering announced last week she would not be running for reelection after serving one term. 

There are already three candidates for the seat who have filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission. 

They are all Republicans: state Legislative assistant Brandt Cappell, Chelan County Fire District 5 commissioner Chris Willoughby, and Wenatchee business owner and developer Flint Hartwig. 

Hawkins told KPQ that his filing with the Public Disclosure Commission would likely appear Tuesday. All candidates can file their candidacy with the Chelan County Auditor between May 6 and May 10. 

Hawkins has represented District 12 for more than a decade: four years as a state representative and the past eight years as a senator. 

Hawkins has a Master’s Degree from George Washington University’s School of Public Policy and Administration in Washington, DC, and a Bachelor’s Degree with honors from Central Washington University. He received his K-12 education in the Wenatchee School District. 

He and his wife Shawna have been married since 2002 and have two teenage boys. Hawkins said moving back to a locally elected position would allow him more time to spend with his family, without the rigors of spending 3-4 months a year in Olympia. 

Brad Hawkins family photo
Brad Hawkins's family photo

Hawkins’ offered a list of priorities he would bring to the Chelan County Commission: 

  • Growing our county economy 
  • Maintaining a balanced budget 
  • Promoting local tourism 
  • Reducing our wildfire risks 
  • Ensuring public safety 
  • Preserving critical infrastructure 
  • Supporting our agricultural base 
  • Delivering housing solutions 
  • Encouraging our tech sector 
  • Partnering with city governments 
  • Mitigating growing property taxes 
  • Identifying transportation solutions 
  • Enhancing outdoor recreation 
  • Supporting local officials and staff 

Counties with the worst droughts in Washington

Washington State is continuing its drought emergency into 2024, citing low snowpack and hot, dry forecasts. Here are the counties most affected by drought, based on data from Stacker and U.S. Drought Monitor to identify the counties in Washington with the worst droughts in the week leading up to March 5, 2024.
Note: "Abnormally dry" is not considered to be a drought, but is included as a separate data point.

Gallery Credit: Jaime Skelton

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