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Aug. 12, 2022

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State Rep. Vick will not seek reelection

Longtime legislator looks forward to time with family

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

The work of state Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Vancouver, was praised by fellow lawmakers after he announced Wednesday he won’t be running for reelection in November.

The 18th District representative, now in his 10th year in office, said he has enjoyed his time serving in the Legislature but believes it’s time for new representation.

“I think it’s just time for change. That’s what the system is meant to do, and that’s OK with me,” Vick said Thursday.

Among the hundreds of bills he has sponsored or co-sponsored in the past decade, Vick is perhaps most proud of his work to streamline occupational licensing requirements, especially for individuals who have been incarcerated.

“Dealing with occupational licensing and really helping folks who’ve had a rough path get through those processes easier is what I’ve been most active in as of late,” Vick said. “Folks with criminal backgrounds who need a license to get to their chosen career path, that had been a real struggle.”

Vick noted those with criminal backgrounds are often left unable to pursue their chosen career paths, which in turn leads to increased recidivism.

One issue he expects the Legislature to continue working on is pushing for regulatory and tax relief for the business community.

“That’s something that was always important to me. Unfortunately, it seems to be going the other way in a lot of instances,” Vick said. “I don’t know if you can ever claim a victory.”

The longtime legislator said he doesn’t have any immediate plans for the future but is looking forward to spending more time with his wife and 10-year-old daughter.

“I obviously hope I end up a productive member of society,” he said with a laugh.

Since joining the Legislature in December 2012, Vick has served on a number of committees, including the House Finance, Commerce and Gaming Committee and House Appropriations Committee. He also served as the ranking member of the House Consumer Protection and Business Committee.

Vick’s fellow legislators made it clear the veteran lawmaker will be missed.

“He is a great legislator. He was and is a great ranking member,” 17th District state Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, said. “Brandon is very thoughtful in his thoughts and responses. He will be missed in our caucus and is a friend.”

State Rep. Ed Orcutt, R-Kalama, said he greatly appreciates the time he spent working with Vick.

“He has served on the (House) Finance Committee with me and has shown a tremendous amount of knowledge on the impact pending legislation would have on taxpayers and has been a strong advocate for the taxpayers. The perspective he brought to the committee was very helpful to me and other members of the Legislature,” Orcutt said in an interview Thursday. “The bills and amendments he offered showed his commitment to the citizens of his district and Southwest Washington in general.”

Orcutt said Vick has been a strong leader on many issues and has been an advocate for many in his community.

“I knew when I talked to him about issues in his committees that I would get good information to help me make good decisions for my constituents,” Orcutt added.

State Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia, described Vick as a competent and effective legislator.

“People like … Brandon Vick are the steady hand at a time when there’s so much contentiousness and lack of communication. They were the adults in the room,” Abbarno said Thursday.

“Brandon Vick has been a quiet voice for common sense and the best possible government function since the day he was sworn into office. He was a leader in the House Republican Caucus and deeply respected in the House and across the rotunda,” House Republican Leader J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, said in a statement Wednesday.

Vick is also known for his fondness for wearing brightly colored shoes on the House floor, rather than the traditional black or brown dress shoes.

“Brandon was also known for his unusual shoes. And they will be hard shoes to fill,” Wilcox said.

“I get older every year like everyone else, but I’m still on the younger end of the elected individuals spectrum. Shoes just take that edge off. It’s a good icebreaker,” Vick said. “Not everything needs to be black and polished.”

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