Nick Harper (politician)

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Nick Harper
Nick Harper State Senator.jpg
Member of the Washington State Senate
from the 38th district
In office
January 2010 – November 9, 2013
Personal details
Born 1979 (age 37–38)
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lacey Harper
Children 2
Residence Everett, Washington

Nick Harper (born 1979) is an American politician of the Democratic Party. In 2010 he was elected to the Washington State Senate representing Legislative District 38 in a controversial contest that led to the Moxie Media scandal. Before his term was finished, he abruptly resigned his seat on November 9, 2013.[1] He is currently serving as director of intergovernmental relations for the City of Seattle.

Early life and education[edit]

A native of Port Townsend, Washington, Harper received a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Washington in 2001. At the University of Washington he was initiated into the Delta Upsilon fraternity. In 2004 he earned a J.D. from Seattle University.[2]


Legal and lobbying work[edit]

After his admission to the Washington State Bar, Harper worked for several law firms, and briefly served as governmental affairs director for the Snohomish County-Camano Island Association of Realtors. He was a field director for congressman Rick Larsen's 2006 reelection campaign.[2]

Washington State Senate[edit]

Harper was elected to the Washington state senate in 2010 by defeating incumbent Democratic senator Jean Berkey in a controversial contest that led to the Moxie Media scandal. The scandal involved a campaign by Harper's supporters to funnel $300,000 to a variety of shell PAC's that was used to covertly assist an unknown third-party candidate, helping eliminate Berkey from advancing to the general election.[3] Harper denied any knowledge of the scheme and, despite efforts by some from within his own party to stop his seating,[4][5] was sworn into the senate in January 2011.

In September 2013 the Washington state Democratic Party named Harper its "Male Elected Official of the Year." Two months later, however, Harper abruptly resigned, following rumors he had been involved in an extramarital affair with a lobbyist.[6] Harper said his resignation was motivated by a desire to spend more time with his family.[7]

Seattle director of intergovernmental relations[edit]

In December 2013, the month following his resignation from the state senate, Harper was appointed director of intergovernmental relations for the City of Seattle by newly elected mayor Ed Murray, a former senate colleague.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Harper is married with two daughters. His wife, Lacey, is employed in the office of the Governor of Washington[2] and previously served as legislative assistant to then Rep.-John McCoy, who was subsequently appointed to fill Harper's senate seat after his resignation.


  1. ^ Briam M. Rosenthal (2013-11-09). "State Sen. Nick Harper, seen as rising star, abruptly resigns". Retrieved 2013-11-13. 
  2. ^ a b c "Nick Harper's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  3. ^ Thompson, Lynn (17 August 2010). "State Sen. Jean Berkey asks PDC to set aside election results". Seattle Times. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Smith, Erik (16 November 2010). "Republicans Say Senate Should Deny Seat to Nick Harper — and Force Dems to Make a Mighty Uncomfortable Decision". Washington State Wire. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Puyallup Sen. Jim Kastama says he'll introduce resolution to not seat fellow Democrat Nick Harper due to Moxie Media scandal". News Tribune. 6 January 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  6. ^ Jerry Cornfield (2013-11-10). "Harper quits state Senate". Everett Herald. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  7. ^ Erica Barnett (11 November 2013). "GMOs, the Boeing Break, a Sudden Departure, and More". Seattle Metropolitan. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 
  8. ^ Andrew Garber (23 December 2013). "$140,000 job with City of Seattle goes to former state Sen. Nick Harper". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2013-11-23. 

External links[edit]