|Member of the Washington House of Representatives|
from the 26th district
|Assumed office |
January 12, 2015
|Preceded by||Larry Seaquist|
|Residence||Port Orchard, Washington|
|Alma mater||University of Washington School of Dentistry|
|Profession||Dentist, Professor, Politician|
Michelle Downey Caldier is an American politician who was elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 2014, defeating incumbent Democrat Larry Seaquist by a narrow vote margin. A member of the Republican Party, her election gave Washington Republicans one of four pickups in the House in the 2014 election. Her district includes the cities of Bremerton, Gig Harbor and Port Orchard.
Early life, education, and early career
Caldier was born in Bremerton, Washington, and raised in Kitsap County. Caldier graduated from Central Kitsap High School. Caldier earned her Associate of Sciences at Olympic College, and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington, followed by her Doctorate in Dental Surgery from the University of Washington School of Dentistry.
Caldier has owned a dentistry practice for more than a decade that serves nursing homes around Puget Sound. She was also an Affiliate Professor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry.
In 2012, Caldier joined others to lobby the Legislature to restore funding to adult dental care for those on Medicaid, and was successful. This inspired her to run for the Legislature and continue fighting for those who cannot care for themselves. Caldier has donated thousands of hours to caring for the underserved, and chaired the Access to Care Committee for several years.
In 2014, Caldier decided to challenge incumbent Democratic State Representative Larry Seaquist of Washington's 26th house district, seat 2. She defeated him 50.61% - 49.37%, a difference of 601 votes. Caldier became the first Republican elected to the seat since then Rep. Lois McMahan was defeated by Derek Kilmer in 2004.
|Democratic||Larry Seaquist (incumbent)||24,246||49.39|
Caldier was the author and prime sponsor of House Bill 1855 a measure that requires local school districts to waive local requirements for foster children, homeless children, at risk youth, who have attended three or more high schools and have met all state requirements for graduation. This is similar to current exceptions allowed for military dependent of active service members. The Washington State House of Representatives unanimously passed the bill on March 2, 2015.
Committee Assignments (State of Washington)
- House of Representatives
- General Government & Information Technology (Assistant Ranking Member)
- Health Care & Wellness
Caldier resides in Port Orchard, Washington. Caldier has been an outspoken advocate for foster children, having herself been a foster child. She is the mother and foster mother of three daughters.
- "Michelle Caldier unseats Rep. Larry Seaquist". The News Tribune. November 10, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
- "Rep. Caldier Biography". WA House Republicans.
- "Caldier takes seat after Seaquist concedes". The Peninsula Gateway. November 11, 2014. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
- "Our Campaigns - WA District 26 Seat 2 Race - Nov 02, 2004". Retrieved 19 October 2014.
- "Bill would ease graduation requirements for at-risk youth". The Kitsap Sun. February 16, 2015. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
- "House passes first bill sponsored by Caldier". The Port Orchard Independent. March 2, 2015.
| Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 26th district, position 2