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Laurie Jinkins is a public health official from Tacoma, Washington who serves as a member of the Washington House of Representatives from the 27th district. A Democrat, she was selected as Speaker-designate of the House in July 2019.[1]

Laurie Jinkins
Laurie Jinkins.jpg
Speaker of the Washington House of Representatives
Assuming office
January 13, 2020
SucceedingJohn Lovick (Acting)
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 27th district
Assumed office
January 10, 2011
Preceded byDennis Flannigan
Personal details
Born (1964-08-01) August 1, 1964 (age 55)
Iowa, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Laura Wulf (2013–present)
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin, Madison (BS, MS)
University of Puget Sound (JD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and careerEdit

Jinkins grew up in the rural Midwest and attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she earned both bachelor's and master's degrees. She moved to Washington State in 1987 to attend the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now affiliated with Seattle University), earning a Juris Doctor (J.D.) in 1990. In 2007, she completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. After graduation, she worked as an assistant attorney general in Tacoma, before joining the Department of Health in Olympia in 1995. She remained at the department until 2008, rising to the post of assistant secretary. In 2008, she joined the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department as deputy director.[2]

Political careerEdit

Jinkins has a long record of involvement in civic, government and political organizations. From 1990 to 1992, she chaired the Tacoma Hate Crimes Task Force[citation needed], later chairing the Tacoma Charter Review Committee and the Tacoma Community College Board of Trustees. In 2009, she led the successful statewide campaign to approve Referendum 71, affirming Washington's domestic partnership law.

When Rep. Dennis Flannigan (D–Tacoma) decided against seeking re-election to the Washington House in 2010, Jinkins declared for the seat. Four Democrats and one independent filed for the open seat with a top two primary held on August 17, 2010. Jinkins was the top vote getter in the primary with fellow Democrat Jake Fey, a member of Tacoma City Council, finishing second.[3] In the general election held on November 2, Jinkins defeated Fey 54–46%.

On July 31, 2019, the House Democratic Caucus selected Rep. Jinkins as the new State House Speaker designate. Replacing Interim Speaker John Lovick, who took over upon the end of former speaker Frank Chopp's term. Jinkins will be the first female and first LGBTQ speaker in Washington State history.[4]


Jinkins is openly gay.[5] She and her wife,[6] Laura Wulf, have one son who attends public school in Tacoma.[7]

She is the first openly lesbian member of the Washington State Legislature.[8]


  1. ^ "Democrats elect Rep. Laurie Jinkins to serve as next speaker of the House – Washington State House Democrats". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  2. ^ "Elect Laurie Jinkins: About Laurie". Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  3. ^ "Voters narrow field for Legislature". The Olympian. August 18, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2010.
  4. ^ "Democrats elect Rep. Laurie Jinkins to serve as next speaker of the House – Washington State House Democrats". Retrieved 2019-07-31.
  5. ^ Stone, Zak (November 3, 2010). "2010 Elections Gayer Than Ever: Most Gay Candidates Elected in Nation's History". Good. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  6. ^ "Laurie Jinkins". Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  7. ^ "Laurie Jinkins". Retrieved July 31, 2019.
  8. ^ "Jinkins' win in the 27th is a first for Washington". The News Tribune. November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2010.

External linksEdit