Radio Report: Youngest-ever Washington legislator takes office


The youngest legislator in Washington state’s history was sworn into office Thursday on her 18th birthday, the final day of the 2024 session. Nic Scott reports.

 Radio Report Transcript

SCOTT: Lilian Hale of Cathlamet was welcomed to the House floor by lawmakers singing “Happy Birthday,” just hours after she took the oath of office Thursday morning. The stepdaughter of 19th District Representative Joel McEntire is serving as a temporary proxy for McEntire, a U.S. Marine Corps reservist, who has been called away on military duty.

HALE: “I guess what I hope to accomplish is just making sure that there is a vote for him because Representative McEntire wasn’t able to be here.”

SCOTT: Washington state allows a temporary successor to be appointed for legislators on leave for military service or military training.

HALE: “For anything to change, you have to be a part of that change. So, anything you want to happen, you have to be able to vote, and if you don’t vote, well, you can’t complain that there isn’t a change.”

Hale’s seatmate is Republican Representative Jim Walsh.

WALSH: “Since today is Representative Hale’s 18th birthday, no one will ever match her for being the youngest representative in this august body.”

Hale is studying nursing at Lower Columbia College. She says playing out her civic duty, even for one day is important.

Nic Scott, the state Capitol.

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