Issaquah Democrat Mark Mullet joins state Senate

November 30, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen (left) administers the oath of office to state Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, in the Senate chamber Friday. Contributed

NEW — 4:05 p.m. Nov. 30, 2012

Issaquah City Councilman Mark Mullet joined the state Senate on Friday afternoon, 45 days before other freshman lawmakers convene in Olympia for the 2013 legislative session.

In a ceremony on the Senate floor, state Supreme Court Chief Justice Barbara Madsen administered the oath to Mullet as the Democrat’s family members watched.

Mullet joined the Senate after a bruising contest against Snoqualmie Republican Brad Toft to represent the 5th Legislative District — a mishmash between suburban and rural communities stretched between Issaquah and Snoqualmie Pass.

The last senator to represent the district, Maple Valley Republican Cheryl Pflug, resigned from the seat in June to serve on a state board. Sammamish Republican Dino Rossi — senator from the district in the late 1990s and early 2000s — served in the role between Pflug’s resignation and Mullet’s arrival.

Mullet joined the Senate early to fill the remaining unfilled weeks in Pflug’s term.

“I am honored and excited to bring my experience in business and management to the Senate and to serve the people of the 5th District,” Mullet said in a statement released after the ceremony.

In Issaquah, Mullet owns Zeeks Pizza and Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop in the Issaquah Highlands.

“I look forward to helping the Legislature better understand business issues and find solutions to the challenges we face as a community” he said.

Mullet plans to serve in the Senate and on the council simultaneously through Jan. 8. The council is poised to tackle major issues in the weeks ahead, including the Central Issaquah Plan growth blueprint, a development agreement between the city and landowner Lakeside Industries, and the 2013 municipal budget.

The next legislative session starts Jan. 14.

Once Mullet resigns, council members intend to put out a call for potential successors and conduct interviews before appointing a resident to the seat.

Mullet joined the Issaquah City Council in 2010 after running unopposed for the seat and, earlier this year, spearheaded a controversial plastic bag ban at Issaquah businesses. On the council, he led the Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee and served as a local representative on the Eastside Fire & Rescue board.

Beyond Issaquah City Hall, Mullet serves on the board of director for the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.

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