Kevin Van De Wege

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Kevin Van De Wege
Vandewege.jpg
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 24th district
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 2007
Preceded by Jim Buck
Personal details
Born (1974-10-02) October 2, 1974 (age 40)
Seattle, Wash.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Jennifer Van De Wege
Residence Sequim, Wash.
Alma mater Edmonds Community College
Washington State University
Website kevinvandewege.com

Kevin Van De Wege is an American firefighter and politician from Washington. A Democrat, he has served as a member of the Washington House of Representatives since January 2007, representing the 24th legislative district, including much of the Olympic Peninsula including Forks, Hoquiam, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, and Sequim.[1]

Van De Wege serves as majority whip with the House Democratic Caucus. He also serves on the Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee, Health Care Committee, Rules Committee and is a member of the General Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee. He lives in Sequim with his wife Jennifer, a high school teacher, and their two children, Allison and Jackson.

Early life and education[edit]

Van De Wege was born in Seattle in 1974 and grew up in rural Whatcom County. As a child, he worked on berry farms and at a local dairy farm. He attended Meridian School District public schools from kindergarten through high school. During his senior year of high school he joined Whatcom County Fire District #3 as a volunteer. This experience sparked a lifelong interest in public safety and the fire service.

After graduating from high school in 1993, Van De Wege attended Edmonds Community College where he earned an associate's degree in fire investigation in 1995 and an associate's degree in fire command and administration in 1996. In 2002, Van De Wege received a Bachelor of Arts in social science from Washington State University, completing coursework through the university's distance learning program.

Career as firefighter[edit]

Van De Wege served as a volunteer firefighter with Snohomish County Fire District #7 and completed paramedic training. During the summer of 1998 he did a paramedic internship in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and became a fully certified paramedic later that fall.

Van De Wege was hired in February 1999 to his first paid position as a firefighter/paramedic with the Sunnyside Fire Department. He worked there for two years until he was offered a full-time position in Sequim in 2001. Today, Van De Wege serves as a lieutenant with the Clallam County Fire District #3 [2]

State Representative[edit]

In 2004, Van De Wege challenged Republican incumbent Representative Jim Buck, narrowly losing 51-49 percent, a margin of fewer than 2,000 votes.[3]

In 2006, Van De Wege again challenged Buck, and this time won the election by more than 3,000 votes 53-47 percent.[4] In his first term in the House, Van De Wege was selected by his colleagues to serve as an assistant majority whip. He was also selected to a key committee focusing on veteran's issues[5]

In 2008, Thomas Thomas of Joyce challenged Van De Wege. Van De Wege prevailed with more than 65 percent of the vote.[6] Van De Wege, now serving in his second term, has become a strong advocate for the timber and biomass industries on the Olympic Peninsula.[7] Rep. Van De Wege also led the fight to secure permanent funding for the Neah Bay rescue tug, which provides year-round protection for marine vessels in the Straits of Juan de Fuca.[8]

In 2010, Van De Wege won a third term in an anti-Democratic year with over 55% of the vote. He was challenged by Port Angeles real estate broker and consultant Dan Gase, who refused to initially acknowledge defeat.[9] Overall, Republicans gained control of several Democratic seats across the state, and Van De Wege's results showed his ability to win support across party lines.

Van De Wege is a member of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce,[10] the Sequim Elks, the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, and sits on the Clallam Economic Development Council.

References[edit]

External links[edit]