OLYMPIA – Members of the Washington State Senate Democratic Caucus are in mourning tonight over the sudden death of Sen. Scott White.
White, who joined the Senate in 2010 and immediately rose to a leadership position, was found dead this afternoon while attending a conference at the Suncadia Resort in Roslyn.
Consistent with his unwavering belief in the power of possibility and collaboration, White was attending a conference on setting a regional economic vision.
“Scott was a trusted colleague and a beloved friend,” said Majority Leader Lisa Brown. “He was an extraordinarily talented leader and an accomplished legislator. The nobility and honor with which he approached his role as an elected official was rare, and his commitment was unprecedented. He was ambitious, yet humble and positive about what he called ‘our shared community values.’
“Scott worked tirelessly to represent the values of his constituents and he took seriously the trust that his Caucus colleagues placed in him,” she added.
Having served years ago as Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen’s intern and most recently as a senator and her vice-chair on the powerful Senate Transportation Committee, White’s passing was particularly hard on Haugen. She said the White family is in her prayers and in those of the caucus.
“Above all, Scott’s greatest legacy and source of pride was his family,” Sen. Derek Kilmer said. “He was deeply committed to his wife and two young children, and took great joy in the life they built together.”
“As we say goodbye to one of our youngest and most talented colleagues, the Washington State Legislature and Seattle area will long remember Scott as a loyal friend, committed leader and staunch advocate for his community,” Sen. Ed Murray said. “We have lost a part of our future. This is an enormous loss of massive magnitude. His future was full of promise and the capacity to help so many. We cherish the time spent with him, ache with his passing and untimely death and extend our deepest sympathies to his family. Our hearts go out to them on this day of incredible loss.”
Said Sen. Debbie Regala, "I was shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden passing on of my colleague Sen. Scott White. His service in the Senate was short but it was clear that his passion for serving the people of his district and the State of Washington was strong. He always performed his duties with integrity, and humility. He had a great zest for life and devotion to his wife and children. His passing leaves an empty spot that will not easily be filled."
A native of Olympia who overcame many early challenges to excel as a Timberline High School quarterback, White was a true son of Washington State — graduating from Western Washington and the University of Washington and settling in Seattle to work on the King County Council. He left the county in 2008 to win election to the State House of Representatives and joined the Senate two years later.
White was a champion for transit and transportation solutions, a dogged advocate for schools and kids, and a champion for the environment. But as much as he was devoted to public service, his first love and top priority were his children, and his wife Alison.
Our thoughts and prayers are with them tonight.