Tim Sheldon

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Tim Sheldon
President pro tempore of the Washington Senate
In office
January 9, 2017 – November 21, 2017
Preceded byPam Roach
Succeeded byKaren Keiser
In office
January 14, 2013 – January 12, 2015
Succeeded byPam Roach
Member of the Washington Senate
from the 35th district
Assumed office
Personal details
Born (1947-09-03) September 3, 1947 (age 71)
Shelton, Washington, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Other political
Majority Coalition Caucus
ResidencePotlatch, Washington
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
University of Washington

Timothy M. Sheldon (born September 3, 1947) is an American politician who has served since 1991 in the Washington State Legislature as a Democrat, representing the sprawling 35th District, which includes all of Mason County and parts of Thurston and Kitsap counties.[1] Since 2004 he has also represented Mason County as a Mason County Commissioner for District 2. Sheldon was born in Mason County, and has lived there most of his life. He attended public schools until he entered the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, graduating in 1969 with a BS in Economics. He earned his MBA at the University of Washington.

Following a decade of work in economic development for Native American tribes, Sheldon began a new career as executive director of the non-profit Mason County Economic Development Council, a post he held for 18 years.

First elected to the Washington State House of Representatives for a term beginning in 1991, Sheldon served three terms there before being elected to the State Senate in 1997. Currently in his fifth four-year Senate term, Sheldon is vice chair of the Energy Environment & Telecommunications Committee, and sits on the Rules and Transportation committees.[2]

Party ties[edit]

Sheldon made himself unpopular with the Democratic Caucus by taking a strong stance against funding the Mariners and Seahawks sports stadiums with State owned money, calling the proposed legislation "corporate welfare." He also voted against budgets that he felt did more harm than good to his mostly rural constituents, even when his party supported them. He has been accused of being a moderate and termed a "Republican in sheep's clothing" or a "maverick" due to his erratic voting history.[citation needed] He voted for Republican George W. Bush in 2004 and then Democrat Barack Obama in 2008.[3] He was one of three Democratic state senators to vote against the gay-marriage bill.[4]

After the 2012 state legislature elections, he and Senator Rodney Tom joined the Republicans in a "Majority Coalition Caucus," resulting in a power sharing agreement, effectively giving the two Democrats control of the state senate along with 23 Republicans. The Caucus chairs the most powerful committees (such as ways and means, commerce and labor, and K-12 education, among others) for the 2013-14 session, and a few committees, such a Transportation, he claims a "bi-partisan" co-chair with the Democratic Caucus. Sheldon subsequently became president pro tempore of the Senate, elected by both Democrats and Republicans. He lost this position in 2015 when Democrats withdrew support in favor of Republican Pam Roach.[5] After Pam Roach won a seat on the Pierce County Council in the 2016 election,[6] Tim Sheldon, once again, became president pro tempore of the Washington State Senate.[7] Due to the special election held in November 2017, the Senate returned to a Democratic majority. Sheldon once again lost his position as President Pro Tempore. Democrat Karen Keiser now occupies the position.[8]


  1. ^ Sen. Timothy Sheldon (D-WA 35th District)
  2. ^ http://www.leg.wa.gov/senate/senators/Pages/sheldon.aspx
  3. ^ Gardner, Steven. "Tim Sheldon Makes No Apologies for Dual Roles". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  4. ^ JORDAN SCHRADER, BRAD SHANNON. "Senate votes 28-21 to legalize gay marriage". The News Tribune. Retrieved 23 March 2012.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Schrader, Jordan (January 12, 2015). "Democrats help Republican Sen. Pam Roach unseat a Democrat". The News Tribune. Tacoma, Wash. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
  6. ^ "November 8, 2016 General Election". Pierce County Auditor. 29 November 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Sen. Tim Sheldon picked as president pro-tem of GOP-controlled state Senate". The Seattle Times. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  8. ^ http://sdc.wastateleg.org/keiser/2017/11/21/keiser-to-serve-as-president-pro-tempore-of-the-washington-state-senate/

External links[edit]