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Marko Liias

Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 21st district
Assumed office 
January 2008
Preceded by Brian J. Sullivan

Born July 17, 1981 (1981-07-17) (age 28)
Edmonds, Wash.
Political party Democratic
Residence Edmonds, Wash.

Marko Liias (born July 17, 1981) is an American politician from Washington. He is currently a Democratic member of the Washington House of Representatives, representing the 21st legislative district. The district, located entirely within Snohomish County, encompasses portions of Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace, as well as his hometown of Mukilteo and his native Edmonds.[1]

At the age of 24, Liias was elected to Mukilteo City Council in November 2005, running unopposed. He had previously served on the Snohomish County Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board from 2003 to 2004, and as a member of the Snohomish County Board of Equalization from 2004 to 2006. As a city councilman, he also served as an alternate board member for Community Transit, and as a representative to the Puget Sound Regional Council.[2]

When Rep. Brian Sullivan was elected to Snohomish County Council in November 2007, he resigned his seat in the Washington State Legislature. The Democratic precinct committee officers (PCOs) from the 21st district had the opportunity of selecting his successor, subject to the county council's ratification. With 21 votes, Liias was their first choice, defeating Lynnwood city councilman Mark Smith (16 votes) and Snohomish County Labor Council president Darrell Chapman (15 votes).[2] The council voted unanimously to confirm the choice of the PCOs and appointed Liias to the seat.[3]

Liias was elected to a full term in November 2008, receiving nearly 64% of the vote. He did not face a Democratic primary challenge but was challenged by a Republican, 18-year old Andrew Funk, in the general election.[4] The district is heavily Democratic.[4]

Since his election to a full term, Liias was selected as the Vice Chair of the House Transportation Committee, one of three budget-writing committees in the House of Representatives. He was also selected to serve on the influential Rules Committee, which plays a critical gatekeeping role in the legislative process. Liias serves on three other committees, Education, Agriculture & Natural Resources, and Community & Economic Development & Trade.

Liias graduated from Kamiak High School in Mukilteo before attending Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He has also taken graduate courses in public administration at the University of Washington in Seattle.[5]

Liias is one of six openly gay members of the Washington State Legislature, alongside Representatives Jim Moeller (D–Vancouver), Jamie Pedersen (D–Seattle) and Dave Upthegrove (D–Des Moines), as well as Senators Ed Murray (D–Seattle) and Joe McDermott (D–West Seattle).[6]

Liias, who is of Finnish descent, speaks Finnish.[7]


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