Sharon Nelson

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Sharon Nelson
Sharon Nelson.jpg
Washington State Senate District 34
In office
Term ends
January 12, 2015
Years in position 3
State Senate Minority Leader
Base salary$42,106/year
Per diem$90/day
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Washington State House of Representatives
Bachelor'sWhitman College, 1973
Office website
Sharon Nelson is a Democratic member of the Washington State Senate, representing District 34. She was first elected to the chamber in 2010. She has served as State Senate Minority Leader since 2013.

Nelson represented District 34 in the Washington State House of Representatives since her appointment in 2007.


Nelson earned her B.A. in Psychology from Whitman College. Nelson is a former Chief of Staff for Metropolitan King County Council member Dow Constantine, and was a Vice President at Bank of America and Seafirst Bank before assuming office. She is also the founding president of Preserve Our Islands, a 501(c)(3) environmental organization focused on protecting the Puget Sound nearshore.[1]

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Nelson served on the following committees:

Washington Committee Assignments, 2013
Financial Institutions & Insurance
Ways & Means


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



See also: Washington State Senate elections, 2014

Elections for the office of Washington State Senate will consist of a blanket primary election on August 5, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was May 17, 2014. Incumbent Sharon Nelson (D) is unopposed in the primary.[2]


Nelson did not run for re-election to the Washington State House of Representatives in 2010. She ran unopposed for District 34 in the Washington State Senate.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag |party=Democratic |totalraised2012=6400 |result2012= N/A |office2012= Washington State Senate, District 34 |totalraised2010=47081 |result2010= Won |office2010= Washington State Senate, District 34 |totalraised2008=45203 |result2008= Won |office2008= Washington State House, District 34 |totalraised2006= |result2006= |office2006= |totalraised2004= |result2004= |office2004= |totalraised2002= |result2002= |office2002= |totalraised2000= |result2000= |office2000= |totalraised1998= |result1998= |office1998= |totalraised1996= |result1996= |office1996= |totalraised1994= |result1994= |office1994= |totalraised1992= |result1992= |office1992= }}


Nelson was not up for election to the Washington State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Nelson raised a total of $6,400.
Washington State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Sharon Nelson's campaign in 2012
Washington Refuse & Recycling Association$1,800
Washington Healthcare Association$900
Washington State Auto Dealers Association$800
Dart Container$500
Total Raised in 2012$6,400
Source:Follow the Money


Nelson won election to the Washington State Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Nelson raised a total of $47,081.


Nelson won re-election to the Washington House of Representatives in 2008. During that election cycle, Nelson raised a total of $45,203.


Nelson and her husband, John, have two children.


Missed Votes Report

See also: Washington House of Representatives and Washington State Senate

In March 2014, Washington Votes, the state’s premier legislative information website, released its annual Missed Votes Report, which provides detailed missed roll call votes on bills for every state legislator during the 2014 legislative session.[3] The 2014 regular session included a total of 515 votes in the State House and 396 in the State Senate, as well as 1,372 bills introduced total in the legislature and 237 bills passed. Out of all roll call votes, 90 individual legislators did not miss any votes. 3 individual legislators missed more than 50 votes.[3] Nelson missed 48 votes in a total of 1017 roll calls. Nelson responded to the number of missed votes. “Regrettably, I had to miss some votes this session due to my new role as Senate Democratic leader. The session involved frequent leadership meetings with Senate Republicans, House leaders and the Governor’s office, often called on an impromptu basis. As my caucus is not in control of scheduling floor time, sometimes I had to miss votes due to these other meetings,” she said. [4]

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.[5]


Nelson proposed a 10-year increase in state taxes and fees of $31.54 billion, the highest amount of proposed new taxes and fees of the 46 Washington state senators on the Freedom Foundation’s 2012 Big Spender List.

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.[6] 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 Nelson voted on the specific pieces of legislation:

2012 Senate Scorecard - Sharon Nelson
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
Joe McDermott
Washington State Senate District 34
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by
Washington House of Representatives District 34
Succeeded by
Joe Fitzgibbon