Joseph Zarelli

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Joseph Zarelli
Zarelli joseph.jpg
Washington State Senate District 18
Former officeholder
In office
1997-May 30, 2012
Base salary$42,106/year
Per diem$90/day
Elections and appointments
Last election2008
First elected1996
Term limitsN/A
AssociatesClark College
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1982-1989
ProfessionPresident, JP Zarelli, Incorporated
ReligionChristian, Non-Denominational
Joseph Zarelli was a Republican member of the Washington State Senate. He represented District 18 from 1996 to May 30, 2012. Zarelli resigned early, stating it was time to "start focusing on where I'm going next and to begin that journey."[1]

Zarelli held the leadership positions of Republican Leader of the Washington State Senate in 2005, Senate Majority Leader in 2003, Majority Caucus Vice Chair in 2003 and Republican Caucus Vice Chair in 2001-02.[2]

Zarelli earned his AAS from Clark College.

Zarelli is the president of JP Zarelli, Incorporated. He served in the United States Navy from 1982 to 1989.He is the president of JP Zarelli, Incorporated.[3]

In 2002, Zarelli collected unemployment while being paid as a state legislator.[4]

Committee assignments


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Zarelli served on the following committees:


Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Joseph Zarelli endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [5]



Joseph Zarelli did not run for re-election in 2012.[6]


On November 4, 2008, Zarelli was re-elected for the Eighteenth District of the Washington State Senate receiving 39,311 votes.

Zarelli raised $224,891 for his campaign.[7]

Washington State Senate, District 18 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Joseph Zarelli (R) 39,311
Jon Haugen (D) 32,127

Campaign donors


In 2008, Zarelli collected $224,891 in donations.

Listed below are the top four contributors to his campaign.[8]

Donor Amount
Galleria Homes LLC $1,600
Service Employees Local 925 $1,600
Washington Chiropractic Trust $1,600
Washington Aggregates & Concrete Association $1,600


Zarelli and his wife have four daughters and two grandchildren.


Freedom Foundation

See also: Freedom Foundation's Big Spender List

The Freedom Foundation releases its Big Spender List annually. The Institute ranks all Washington legislators based on their total proposed tax and fee increases. To find each legislator’s total, the Institute adds up the 10-year tax increases or decreases, as estimated by Washington’s Office of Financial Management, of all bills sponsored or co-sponsored by that legislator.[9]


Zarelli proposed a 10-year increase in state taxes and fees of $17 million, tied for the 30th highest amount of proposed new taxes and fees of the 46 Washington state senators on the Freedom Foundation’s 2012 Big Spender List.[10]

See also: Washington Freedom Foundation Legislative Scorecard

The Freedom Foundation also issued its 2012 Informed Voter Guide for Washington State voters, including a legislative score card documenting how Washington State legislators voted upon bills the Foundation deemed important legislation. The legislation analyzed covered budget, taxation, and pension issues.[11] A Approveda sign indicates a bill more in line with the Foundation's stated goals, and a Defeatedd sign indicates a bill out of step with the Foundation's values. Here's how Zarelli voted on the specific pieces of legislation:

2012 Senate Scorecard - Joseph Zarelli
Bill #6636 (Balanced budget requirement)Approveda Bill #5967 (Senate Republicans budget)Approveda Bill #6582 (Local transportation tax increases)Defeatedd Bill #6378 (Pension reforms)Approveda

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Political offices
Preceded by
Washington Senate District 18
1996-May 30, 2012
Succeeded by
Ann Rivers