Dhingra Leader

Manka Dhingra, an Indian American state senator in Washington’s 45th District, was elected as deputy Senate majority leader and will also chair the new Behavioral Health Subcommittee. (sdc.wastateleg.org photo)

Manka Dhingra, a Washington state senator who won election in 2017 and then won a four-year term last month in the state’s 45th Legislative District, was elected to the Senate leadership Nov. 28.

The Indian American senator was elected as the deputy Senate majority leader, and well as the chair of the new Behavioral Health Subcommittee, according to a NWProgressive.org report.

“As a King County prosecutor in my day job, I have the benefit of a specialized skill set that increases my awareness of the legal ramifications of any legislation I touch,” Dhingra said in a statement. “In the same light, I know that when women of color advance into leadership roles, we flourish. We uplift our communities. We uplift us all.”

Dhingra and Sen. Rebecca Saldaña will be the chamber’s next deputy majority leaders, it said.

They will work alongside Majority Leader Andy Billig, Majority Floor Leader Marko Liias, Caucus Chair John McCoy and Majority Whip Mark Mullet, according to the report.

“I think it’s fair to say that a Washington legislative caucus has never had the benefit of this diverse a range of representation,” Billig said in a statement.

Dhingra was just reelected to a four-year term representing the 45th District, encompassing Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, Duvall and Sammamish. It was in 2017 that she first won the seat, flipping the state to a Democratic majority.

She is also one of five current board members governing NPI’s newly formed sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation.

The Senate is also creating a new Behavioral Health Subcommittee that will be chaired by Dhingra, it said.

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