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Joe Fain is president and CEO of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, a former prosecutor, and a former Republican member of the Washington State Senate for the 47th legislative district, including Auburn, Kent, Covington, and Fairwood, in King County.[1]

Joe Fain
Member of the Washington State Senate
from the 47th district
In office
Preceded byClaudia Kauffman
Succeeded byMona Das
Personal details
Political partyRepublican

Fain was elected in 2010 and re-elected in 2014.[2] Fain served as the Senate minority floor leader during the 2018 legislative session.[3]

Despite endorsement by The Seattle Times for his re-election campaign in 2018, Fain was narrowly unseated[4] by Democratic opponent Mona Das.



Fain was born and raised in South King County.[5] He received a B.A. in political science from the University of Washington and later earned a law degree and Masters of Business Administration from Seattle University.[6] Fain coached high school swimming in the Renton and Highline School Districts and was recognized as the 2002 "Washington State Swim Coach of the Year."[7]


Fain previously served as the chief of staff for King County Councilmember Pete Von Reichbauer, who represents the 7th District that includes much of South and Southeast King County.[8]

In 2008, Fain sponsored a successful initiative that sought to break through hyper-partisanship in King County government. Initiative 26 was supported by The Seattle Times, The Seattle PI, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and the Municipal League of King County. It passed with 56% of the vote, making the offices of King County Executive, Council, and Assessor nonpartisan.[9][10]

Senate careerEdit

Senate committees and leadership rolesEdit

Fain was the youngest elected member of the Washington State Senate and served on the Senate's Transportation, Early Learning and K-12 Education, and Financial Institutions, Housing and Insurance committees.[11] Fain also served as vice-chair the Legislative Evaluations and Accountable Program which is the legislature's source of budget data and analysis.[12]

Prior to the 2013 session, Fain was elected as the Senate's majority floor leader and named to the Senate majority's leadership team, transportation budget leadership cabinet and Rules Committee.[13]

Legislative accomplishmentsEdit

In 2011, Fain worked with fellow South King County lawmakers to allocate funding to the King County Flood Control District for repairing homes and businesses damaged during extended flooding.[14] In 2012, he secured additional money in the state's capital construction budget for the Briscoe and Desimone levees.[15]

Fain has also worked to secure transportation funding for new infrastructure throughout South King County aimed at increasing road capacity and improving freight mobility. The 2011 and 2012 transportation budgets included money for major thoroughfares like I-5, I-405, SR 167 and SR 18, in addition to surface street maintenance and safety improvements in Kent, Auburn and Covington.[16]

In 2013, Fain spearheaded an effort to restore funding for state food assistance, which provides grocery money for low-income immigrant families. By working with Democratic and Republican colleagues he was able to secure an additional $9 million in the new state budget to increase benefits by 50 percent.[17]

As majority floor leader, Fain was also successful at bringing the Safe Streets Bill up for a vote ahead of a deadline for passing legislation. The measure makes it simpler for cities to reduce speed limits on neighborhood streets, greatly improving public safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and other motorists.[18]

The Legislature improved security at Washington's courthouses through a plan co-sponsored and advocated by Fain. The bill increased the penalty for assault on courthouse property and allows judges to consider the location during sentencing. Fain worked with colleagues in the Legislature and Washington's Attorney General Bob Ferguson to enact the changes.[19]

A temporary increase of the state's business and occupation and beer tax was scheduled to end in June 2013, but Washington's governor and House of Representatives proposed making these permanent. With improving revenues and a growing state economy Fain worked with colleagues and stakeholders to ensure the increases ended as scheduled, reducing the burden on small- and medium-sized businesses statewide.[20]

Community involvementEdit


Fain serves on the board of directors for Auburn Youth Resources, the Auburn Public Schools Foundation, Sports in Schools and Highline Community College Foundation. He also served previously on the Multiservice Center Board and was a former designee board member to the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle.[21]


In 2011, Fain was recognized by the Kent Parent Teacher Association with the "Spirit of Community Award" for his support of public education, and Covington-Maple Valley Reporter newspaper as "Best Public Official."

That year he was also honored by Congressman Dave Reichert on behalf of the Mountain to Sound Greenway Trust for his work to retain funding for the wildlife conservation program in the state budget.[22]

In 2012, Fain was recognized as an "Emerging Leader on Developmental Disabilities" by the ARC of King County's Parent Coalition for his work on supported employment legislation, which helps people with developmental disabilities find and retain jobs.[23]

In 2012, Fain was also recognized as the Government Employee of the Year by the Kent Chamber of Commerce for his work to improve the business climate in South King County.[24]

In 2013 Fain received the Fain was named a Legislative Champion by Children's Alliance for his work to restore State Food Assistance.[25]

In September 2013, Fain was chosen by the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association as "Legislator of the Year" for his work during the 2013 session on the group's policy priorities as well as the state budget.[26]

The following month Fain was presented as "Legislator of the Year" by the Aerospace Futures Alliance for his work on multiple issues important to the industry. As Senate Floor Leader, Fain helped secure passage of a bill to streamline tax collection for commuter air carriers and helped negotiate a state budget that re-prioritized higher education.[27]

Sexual assault allegationEdit

On September 28, 2018, a Seattle resident named Candace Faber tweeted "If it's bad that Blasey Ford waited to raise this until Kavanaugh got to the highest levels of government, then maybe the rest of us shouldn't sit on our secrets just crossing our fingers that they won't come into more power.... @senatorfain, you raped me the night I graduated from Georgetown in 2007. Then you had the audacity to ask me to support your campaign. I've been terrified of running into you since moving home and seeing your name everywhere. I'm done being silent." Faber did not file a police report. Fain denied the allegations and called for an investigation into the claims.[28][29][30] Governor Jay Inslee responded to the claims, stating, "this is a very serious allegation that unquestionably deserves a full investigation by law enforcement officials."[31]

After the November general election, plans for an investigation were announced, despite Fain's defeat by opponent Mona Das.[32] The investigation was suspended in December 2018.[33]


Fain resides in Auburn, Washington, with his wife Steffanie and their two children.

Both of Fain's parents were public school teachers in south King County.


  1. ^ "Find Your Legislator". Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  2. ^ "Election update: Fain unseats Kauffman; Roach trounces Richardson". Auburn Reporter. 2010-11-05. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  3. ^ "Senate Leadership". Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  4. ^ "November 6, 2018 General Election". King County Elections. 2018-11-06. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  5. ^ "Bio — Joe Fain for Senate". Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  6. ^ Archived from the original on July 13, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Joe Fain to run in 47th". Renton Reporter. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  8. ^ "King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer". Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  9. ^ "Editorials / Opinion". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  10. ^ "Editorials & Opinion | I-26: Make King County offices nonpartisan | Seattle Times Newspaper". 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  11. ^ "Fain takes oath of office, named deputy Republican leader on transportation committee - Senator Joe Fain". 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  12. ^ "LEAP| About". Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  13. ^ "Fain elected to leadership post in state Senate". Auburn Reporter. 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  14. ^ "Keiser-Fain bill to continue Green River flood protection efforts passes Senate". Auburn Reporter. 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  15. ^ "Sen. Fain helps secure funding for levees along the Green River in Kent". Kent Reporter. 2012-04-20. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  16. ^ "Sen. Fain of Auburn shaping transportation budget that supports South King County". Auburn Reporter. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  17. ^ "Children's Alliance recognizes Sen. Fain for work on childhood hunger". Auburn Reporter. 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  18. ^ Safe, Neighborhood (2013-04-17). "Neighborhood Safe Streets Passes Washington State Senate 45-2 | Washington BikesWashington Bikes". Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  19. ^ "Ferguson's courthouse security measure passes Senate". 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  20. ^ "Final 2013 report" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  21. ^ "About Joe - Senator Joe Fain". 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  22. ^ "Congressman Reichert to present award to State Senators Steve Litzow, Andy Hill and Joe Fain for conservation leadership — Mountains to Sound Greenway". 2011-09-23. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  23. ^ "Developmental-disability group awards State Sen. Joe Fain who represents Covington - Covington-Maple Valley Reporter". 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  24. ^ "Kent chamber recognizes leadership excellence - Blog - April 2012 - Tacoma, WA". 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  25. ^ "2013 Legislative champions" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  26. ^ Archived from the original on November 18, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ "Sen. Fain named Legislator of the Year by state aerospace industry". Auburn Reporter. 2013-10-04. Retrieved 2014-06-04.
  28. ^ "Seattle woman publicly accuses Washington Sen. Joe Fain of rape". MyNorthwest. September 28, 2018. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  29. ^ Groover, Heidi; Baker, Mike; O'Sullivan, Joseph (September 28, 2018). "Seattle woman says state Sen. Joe Fain raped her in 2007; Fain denies allegation". The News Tribune. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  30. ^ "Senator Joe Fain is 'a man of principal,' colleague says after rape accusations". Associated Press. September 28, 2018. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  31. ^ Olmstead, Molly (September 28, 2018). "A Woman Accused a Prominent Washington State Senator of Raping Her. She Says She Was Inspired By Christine Blasey Ford's Testimony". Slate. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  32. ^ "Investigation into rape claims against Sen. Fain will continue". King5 News. 2018-11-14. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  33. ^ O'Sullivan, Joseph (December 4, 2018). "Senate investigation into rape allegation against Washington state Sen. Joe Fain suspended". Seattle Times. Retrieved 13 June 2019.