Braun: Retiring Sen. Mike Padden Legislature’s strongest advocate of public safety

Apr 3, 2024

OLYMPIASenate Republican Leader John Braun, R-Centralia, shared the following sentiments after an announcement by Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, saying he will not seek reelection to the 4th District Senate seat he has held since 2011.

Sen. Padden is currently the lead Republican on the Senate Law & Justice Committee. He was previously the chair of the committee when Republicans held the majority in the Senate. Before serving in the Legislature, Padden was a member of the House of Representatives and a Spokane County district court judge.

“Senator Padden has been a powerful voice for the defenseless. He has been the Legislature’s strongest advocate for public safety, always prioritizing the rights of victims over the rights of criminals. He’s been particularly effective at getting legislation passed that deters drunk driving. Time and again, the Senate passed his bill to increase the DUI lookback from 10 years to 15 years. And although the House always failed to pass it, he never gave up. His tenacity on the issue is admirable and this policy was passed as part of the budget in 2024. It will save lives.

“Accountability is a top priority for Senator Padden. He led the first Senate investigation since the 1940s to hold the Department of Corrections accountable when it was revealed that more than 3,200 prisoners had been released early. This is one of the few times where the Legislature has exercised sober and effective oversight of the executive branch.

“More recently, Senator Padden played an integral role in restoring the ‘reasonable suspicion’ standard for police pursuit, fixing a mistake made by Democrats in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The impact of his dedicated public service on behalf of his constituents and people across our state will live on in the law long after his retirement.

“Senator Padden is a fantastic legislator. I will very much miss his principled conservative leadership. I am honored to have served alongside him in the Senate. He has put in decades of hard work making our state a better place for everyone.  I wish both him and his family the best in retirement.”