Kevin Van De Wege
|Kevin Van De Wege|
|Member of the Washington Senate|
from the 24th district
Assumed office |
|Preceded by||James Hargrove|
October 2, 1974|
|Spouse(s)||Jennifer Van De Wege|
Edmonds Community College|
Washington State University
Kevin Van De Wege is an American firefighter and politician from Washington. A Democrat, he has served as a member of the Washington State Senate since January 2017, and previously a member of the Washington House of Representatives from June 2007 to January 2017, representing the 24th legislative district, including much of the Olympic Peninsula, which is made up of Clallam County, Jefferson County, and half of Grays Harbor County, and includes Forks, Hoquiam, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Sequim, McCleary, Elma,and Ocean Shores.
Van De Wege chairs the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources & Parks Committee and also serves on the Senate Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Health & Long Term Care Committee. He lives in Sequim with his wife Jennifer, a vice principal at Roosevelt Elementary School, and their two teenagers, Allison and Jackson.
Early life and education
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, and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Fort Hays State University.
Career as firefighter
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.
In 2004, Van De Wege challenged Republican incumbent Representative Jim Buck, narrowly losing 51-49 percent, a margin of fewer than 2,000 votes.
In 2006, Van De Wege again challenged Buck, and this time won the election by more than 3,000 votes 53-47 percent. 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.
In 2008, Thomas Thomas of Joyce challenged Van De Wege. Van De Wege prevailed with more than 65 percent of the vote. Van De Wege has become a strong advocate for the timber and biomass industries on the Olympic Peninsula. 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.
In 2010, Van De Wege won 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. 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.
In 2012 Van de Wege was challenged by Port Ludlow resident Craig Durgan. Van De Wege prevailed with 64% of the vote in the general election.
In 2014 Representative Van De Wege ran unchallenged.
In 2016, Van De Wege announced his intention to run for Washington's 24th State Senate district, being vacated by the retiring Jim Hargrove. Van De Wege went on to defeat Independent Republican Danille Turissini in the election, winning 56.6% against Turissini's 43.4%
- "Washington State Legislature: 24th district". Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- "Washington House Democrats: Rep. Kevin Van De Wege". Archived from the original on 2009-05-08. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- 2004 General Election Results
- 2006 General Election Results
- "Peninsula Daily News, "Van De Wege secures key veterans committee post"". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- 2008 General Election Results
- "KONP Radio News, "Governor gets two bills from local legislator"". Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- "Peninsula Daily News, "Year-round Neah Bay tug likely to become reality"". Retrieved 2009-04-26.
- "Peninsula Daily News, "Tharinger, Van De Wege hold leads in state House races"". Retrieved 2010-11-03.
- "Sequim Gazette, "State senator's retirement spurs local campaigns"". Retrieved 2016-05-15.
- Search Results - Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce