O’Ban new vice chairman of Senate Law and Justice Committee

Sen. Steve O’Ban will serve on the same committees as the late Sen. Mike Carrell and also has been tapped to succeed the longtime Pierce County legislator as vice chairman of one panel – the Senate Law and Justice Committee. While it’s an uncommon honor for a new lawmaker, O’Ban said the appointment puts him in a familiar position.

“I served as assistant ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, which is the companion committee to the Senate Law and Justice Committee, so this will be a natural transition for me,” said O’Ban, R-Pierce County.

Sen. Mike Padden, chairman of the Law and Justice Committee, made the decision to make O’Ban his vice chairman.

“I thought Senator O’Ban’s past trial and appellate work as an attorney made him a great fit for the committee, as well as the leadership position,” said Padden, R-Spokane Valley. “He may be a newcomer to the Senate, but he has asserted himself as a valuable leader since joining the Legislature in November, and I look forward to working with him on our committee.”

O’Ban will also serve on the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee, as well as the Senate Transportation Committee. He was sworn into office as senator for the 28th Legislative District last Wednesday after Carrell’s May 29 death from a blood disease left the position vacant.