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Meet Lilian Hale, Washington state’s youngest legislator

Lilian Hale of Cathlamet became Washington state’s youngest legislator last week when she was sworn in as a proxy for her stepfather, Republican state Rep. Joel McEntire.

Driving the news: McEntire, a U.S. Marine Corps reservist, was called away on military duty and Hale will serve until his return.

  • Washington state allows a temporary successor to be appointed for legislators on leave for military service or training.
  • While Hale was sworn in on the last day of the regular session, which was also her 18th birthday, she will head back to Olympia if a special session is called, she told Axios.

The latest: Hale voted on final amendments to several measures, as well as the deals lawmakers reached on the state transportation budget and operating budget.

  • Her own personal politics lean a little more left than her stepfather’s, she said, and she considers herself a moderate who sees things that “make sense” in proposals from both Democrats and Republicans.

The intrigue: While Hale found the experience exciting, she said she has no plans to pursue a political career.

  • A nursing student at Lower Columbia College, Hale plans to go into either labor and delivery or hospice nursing before becoming a school nurse.

What they’re saying: “I always thought of politics as legalized adult bullying,” she said. “Online and in debates, so many politicians bash each other and say the meanest things.”

Fun facts: Instagram is her most-used social media platform and Pike Place Market her favorite place to visit in Seattle.

  • While some spouses have stepped in for legislators in the past, Hale’s mother just had a baby, which is among the reasons she stepped up to serve in her stepfather’s stead.

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