Jim Walsh was sworn in as state representative for the 19th Legislative District on Thursday. The ceremony was led by Judge Dave Edwards at the Grays Harbor County Courthouse in Montesano.

“The work begins today. This is a tremendous responsibility and one I am honored to undertake. While I come to Olympia with a set of core principles, I am committed to bipartisanship and finding common-sense solutions for the challenges facing our coastal communities,” said Walsh, R-Aberdeen. “I want to make a difference for the people of the Nineteenth District who have been left behind by Seattle-centric policies. They deserve a Legislature and state government that works for them – not against them.”

Since his predecessor was appointed to the seat in October 2015, Walsh was allowed to be sworn in early before his other legislative colleagues in January. He will receive House committee assignments later this month.

“As I have talked with people throughout the district, I have heard two common themes: jobs and schools,” said Walsh, who is a small business owner and has five children. “I will end up considering hundreds of issues over the next two years, but I come to the Legislature focused on creating family-wage jobs, adequately funding schools and protecting taxpayers.”

There have only been two Republicans to represent the 19th Legislative District in the last 70 years. Walsh is the second. There will be 48 Republicans and 50 Democrats in the Washington State House of Representatives when the 2017 legislative session begins Jan. 9.

Walsh graduated cum laude from Amherst College in 1986 and owns a technical publishing company. He and his wife, Jamie, live in Aberdeen. Their five children range from ages 10 to 24.