Brendan Williams

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This article is about American politician. For Australian international rugby player, see Brendan Williams (rugby union).

Brendan Williams served in the Washington House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011, representing Washington's 22nd legislative district.


Williams served as the executive director of the Washington Health Care Association (WHCA) prior to elective office. He also worked as a private practice attorney and a deputy insurance commissioner in Olympia, Washington.

While the head of WHCA, Williams argued a tax case against the Washington Department of Revenue on behalf of boarding homes and negotiated a settlement ratified by the Legislature in 2004. Under the settlement, estimated to be worth over $31 million in just the first four years, boarding homes pay less than one-fifth of the tax rate the state was looking to impose through a change in regulatory interpretation.[1]

Williams is the author of four law review articles, most recently in the Gonzaga Law Review,[2] and dozens of newspaper columns largely advocating for the care of those with disabilities.

He is currently an attorney in Alexandria, Virginia.

Term as legislator[edit]

Williams served as a Democratic Party member of the Washington House of Representatives. As a legislator, he promised to serve only three terms and was willing to take on his own party.[3]

In 2010, he worked to save a correctional facility in a Republican district. The Tacoma News Tribune reported "Republicans backed Democratic Rep. Brendan Williams' amendment, but he couldn't get much help from his own party, and it failed on a 45-52 vote. Williams then became one of a few Democrats to vote against their party's budget."[4] That year Williams also offered a budget amendment to cut legislators' per diem payments equal to any pay cuts to state employees, which was rejected.[5]

Referred to as "Olympia's iconic liberal state legislator" by The Olympian in 2010,[6] Williams advocated rights for Washington homeowners. Under Washington law those purchasing new homes have no warranty rights and cannot recover for negligence as they can in other states. Quoting a building industry publication that pushed "the no-warranty message," Spokane's Spokesman Review described Williams in 2009 as "the building group’s great Satan."[7] He supported bills that passed the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee only to be killed by the House speaker.[8][9]

Williams was the prime sponsor of many laws, such as one protecting churches and health clinics from insurance cancellation when targeted by crimes like arson, which was the first in the nation to do so,[10] a law creating sexual assault protection orders;[11] a law preventing local governments from interfering with churches housing the homeless;[12] and another allowing domestic violence victims to remove pets as part of protection orders.[13]

Awards and honors[edit]

In 2009, Fuse Washington recognized Williams with a "Sizzle" Award for "Favorite Gunslinger." The award recognized Williams for his work to advance consumer protection and campaign finance reforms in Washington State.[14]

He also received recognition from other organizations such as the Autism Society of Washington.[15]


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  14. ^ Fuse "Favorite Gunslinger" Award
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