Reactions have started hitting our inbox Wednesday afternoon regarding the death earlier in the day of Rep. Roger Freeman, D-Federal Way. Freeman was diagnosed with cancer in early 2013; you can read more about his death in Jordan Schrader’s piece for the Tacoma News Tribune.
Gov. Jay Inslee released a statement praising Freeman’s work with vulnerable populations.
“Roger came to the state Legislature with a passion for serving his community and advocating for the most vulnerable, particularly children and children with disabilities,” said Inslee in prepared remarks. “He was fully committed to his work despite the battle he faced against cancer, and was one of the most professional, eloquent and kind-hearted legislators I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Trudi and I send our deepest condolences to Roger’s wife, Sonya, and their two young children. Our thoughts are with them and everyone who served with him. I know they’ll miss him too.”
Sen. Tracey Eide, D-Federal Way, described Freeman as “an outstanding young man.”
“Rep. Freeman was not only a smart and effective legislator but an example to everyone who had the privilege of working with him,” Eide said in prepared remarks. “He tackled tough problems without blinking and he faced stressful challenges without ever losing the positive, can-do attitude we came to count on from him.
“My heart goes out to his wife Sonya and their two children. Though Rep. Freeman’s time in the Legislature was short, I got to know him well enough to know that he loved his family deeply and missed them every day when he was here working on behalf of the people of our district. His wife and children have lost a fine husband and father. It just breaks my heart to see this happen.”
Freeman is on the November election ballot and if he wins, the vacancy would be filled by the regular appointment process, according to the state Secretary of State’s office. That means the 30th Legislative District Democrats would supply the names of three possible replacements to the King and Pierce county councils, which would jointly approve a replacement. The seat would then be on the ballot in 2015 to determine who would serve the rest of the two-year term.