Indian American King County (Wash.) prosecutor Manka Dhingra, who won the District 45 state Senate race in this year's general election, was sworn in to office Nov. 29.
With the swearing-in, the state House and Senate has flipped from a Republican to Democrat majority. It is the first time in five years the House and Senate have been controlled by the Democratic Party.
"The hope really is that a lot of these bills that had bipartisan support in the House that died in the Senate will be able to be passed," Dhingra said in a King5 report. "We’re really looking forward to governing, governing inclusively, making sure everyone’s voices are heard."
Dhingra’s legislative Web site also was launched on the occasion as well as her official state portrait released.
Dhingra ousted her Republican counterpart Jinoung Lee Englund by more than 10 points in the Nov. 7 election to claim the seat in the special election (see India-West article here).
Dhingra said she intends to work on passing legislation as soon as she takes over the office. Among the important issues she hopes to pass include passing the capital budget as well as fixing legislation on women’s reproductive health and gun control.
This is where flipping the state to Democrat comes into play, she said.
“We have been held hostage by a handful of Republican senators,” she told India-West after winning the election. “Now we can get (legislation) into and out of committees and get things voted on.”