Deputy Republican leader says confirmation expected after Legislature convenes Monday
Goodman’s confirmation is expected Monday as part of the package of decisions the state Senate will make on the opening day of the 2013 legislative session. He will essentially serve as the Senate’s chief administrator, in charge of its non-partisan staff and much of the day-to-day decision-making about Senate operations.
Benton, R-Vancouver, said Goodman has already started the transition process, working with outgoing secretary Tom Hoemann, and will be ready to step into his new role immediately.
“Our coalition leadership team considered several candidates and chose Hunter based on his superb administrative skills,” said Benton, deputy Senate Republican leader, speaking for the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus that will become the Senate’s majority party Monday.
Goodman spent more than a half-dozen years as Attorney General Rob McKenna’s envoy to the Legislature before moving into his current position in mid-2011. Benton said he and Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Bellevue, who is incoming Senate Majority Leader, offered the post to Goodman on Tuesday, after every member of their bipartisan coalition had endorsed the pick.
“The Majority Coalition Caucus has proposed some unprecedented changes to the way the Senate makes decisions, in support of our commitment to a style of governing that is more bipartisan and inclusive and does a better job of representing all parts of the state,” Benton said. “While I hope the new session will get off to a smooth start on Monday, we have to be ready for some unforeseen bumps in the road. Hunter has the background to help us get past those – he knows us and we know him, yet he comes in without any prior allegiance to anyone in the Senate. I see him as being a new face to go with a new way of doing things.”
Benton had kind words for Hoemann, who joined the Senate staff in 1979 and served four terms as Senate secretary starting in 2005, when the Senate Democratic Caucus began its eight-year run as the majority caucus.
“Tom was there when history was made in the Senate – in 2011 when we saw the first truly bipartisan Senate budget, and last year for the formation of the initial bipartisan coalition that really helped set the stage for where the Senate is going now. He knows as well as anyone how a change in the majority brings about other changes, and he will leave with our gratitude for his decades of service to the Senate and the people of our state,” said Benton.