The Washington state Senate is now considering Gov. Jay Inslee's appointment of a Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority commissioner to a state board.

The Senate Transportation Committee could vote Monday on Inslee's appointment of JC Baldwin to the Washington State Transportation Council.

State Senator Brad Hawkins of East Wenatchee sits on the committee, and is highly supportive of her appointment.

"She brings a lot of experience from the Regional Port, Chelan Douglas Transportation Council and the Public Works Board," said Hawkins. "She'll make an outstanding Washington State Transportation Commissioner, and I'm pushing for her Senate confirmation."

If approved in committee, the full Senate will have until the end of the legislative session Mar. 7 to confirm Baldwin.

In the event Baldwin is confirmed, she will be in rare company because most governor appointees serve in their positions as unconfirmed appointees.

Her confirmation would be largely ceremonial as she’s been serving on the Transportation Council since last July. She's serving a six year term.

Still, Ballwin made the trip to Olympia Thursday where she spoke before the Transportation Committee. She said the transportation needs in Central and eastern Washington have been overlooked.

"The rural communities are so important and, frankly, quite underserved in so many areas, and transportation is one of those," said Baldwin.

"And going back to preservation, I think you see more roads in disrepair in the rural communities. I know it's everywhere, but I think it's more prominent in the rural communities. And that's where it's more important. Back to agriculture, we've got heavy trucks. We have product we need to get to our ports and across our state. We need to look more closely at what we have going on in eastern and central Washington."

Baldwin has been a commissioner on the Port Authority from Chelan County since 2005 and was reelected to her seat last November.

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Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals

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