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Derek Kilmer names Congressional staff; Democrats working to fill Senate vacancy

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Dec. 12, 2012 at 1:29 pm with No Comments »
December 12, 2012 1:46 pm

Derek Kilmer, the Gig Harbor Democrat newly elected to Congress to succeed Rep. Norm Dicks, has been preparing to take office Jan. 3 by hiring staff for his offices in D.C. and the 6th District.

Derek Kilmer

Today he named his chief of staff, Jonathan Smith, who he said has worked for other members of the House and for the Senate Armed Services Committee. He also announced campaign staffer Meadow Johnson will become his district director and a Dicks aide, Joe Dacca, will be deputy district director.

Kilmer has resigned his seat in the state Senate — giving the Pierce County Council and Kitsap County Commission 60 days to appoint a new senator who will serve for a year. But they will choose from three people nominated by local Democrats, and that hasn’t happened yet.

The state Democratic Party is talking to the local party precinct-committee officers who will pick the nominees, hoping to set a date between Christmas and New Year’s for their vote, state Chairman Dwight Pelz said. It won’t be much earlier because of a requirement for 10 days notice.

Here’s the news release:

Rep.-elect Kilmer Announces New Staff


Gig Harbor, WA – U.S. Representative-elect Derek Kilmer today announced his first three staff hires. Jonathan Smith will serve as his Chief of Staff, Meadow Johnson will be his District Director, and Joe Dacca will work as his Deputy District Director.

“I am excited to announce the hiring of the first three members of my staff,” said Rep.-elect Kilmer.  “All three individuals have excellent qualifications and experience, and will help me provide the best possible service to my constituents and to employers in our region.  Our team is going to focus on working for every family and every business in this district so we can get our economy back on track.”

Jonathan Smith has nearly a decade of experience working in Congress, both in individual Members’ offices and on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He also worked as an attorney for the Seattle headquartered law firm Preston, Gates and Ellis (now K&L Gates).  Jonathan will be based in Rep.-elect Kilmer’s Washington, DC office.Meadow Johnson is a lifelong resident of the district, attending Peninsula High School, Tacoma Community College and the University of Washington, Tacoma. Johnson has spent several years working for Representative-elect Kilmer.  Prior to her work in politics, she worked in the real estate industry.

A graduate of Gig Harbor High School and the University of Washington, Joe Dacca has spent the past five years working in the District Office of Congressman Norm Dicks.  Prior to joining the staff of Congressman Dicks, Dacca served as Legislative Assistant for Representative-elect Kilmer during Kilmer’s first term in the Washington State Senate.


All three staff will start on January 3, 2013 once Rep.-elect Kilmer has been sworn in.

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