Today, former state Senator Cyrus Habib was sworn in as Washington state’s 16th Lieutenant Governor.
Habib previously represented parts of East King County in the state House of Representatives, and later the state Senate.
“I am excited to collaborate in building a more prosperous and equitable Washington,” said Habib. “I look forward to leading the state Senate in a more collaborative direction, and to using the office to reach out to communities in every part of the state.”
In his position, the second-highest in the state, Habib will preside over the state Senate, where he will adjudicate parliamentary disputes, and chair the powerful Rules Committee, which determines which bills will receive a Senate vote. He will also serve as acting governor when the governor is out of state or unable to serve, play a leadership role in the state’s economic development and international relations agenda, and serve on a number of critical boards and commissions.
Habib’s election follows the retirement of former Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, who served for 20 years as Lt. Gov., after two decades in the state Legislature.
“I am grateful for Lt. Gov. Owen’s decades of service to Washington state,” said Habib. “He has shown a thoughtful commitment and dedication to the people of the state. It is an honor to build upon the former Lieutenant Governor’s work.”
“Throughout our very positive conversations in recent weeks, Lt. Gov. Habib has impressed me as a bright and articulate individual who will be a fast study on some of the issues that we have grappled with in our office,” said Owen. “I was pleased to learn that he will be carrying forward some of the initiatives that have been front and center throughout my administration, especially in the area of economic development and international relations.”
Habib was sworn in during a joint session within the Capitol’s House Chamber. His election makes him the first Middle Eastern-American to hold statewide office in the country.