|Rep. Riccelli (r) with his seatmate, Rep. Timm Ormsby.|
Rep. Riccelli was born and raised in Spokane, so he considers it a great honor to now be representing that very city in our state capitol. He's a graduate of Mead High School and Gonzaga University, but eventually ventured over to the western part of the state to get his Master of Public Administration at the University of Washington.
For the past two regular and five special legislative sessions, Rep. Riccelli worked as the Senior Policy Advisor to former Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown. Having been a legislative staff person prior to his election, he has a great deal of appreciation for the long hours required of staff, particularly during the legislative session.
We caught up with him at the end of his first week as a state representative to ask him a few questions:
Q: Is there a moment, or an image, you’ll remember most from your first day as a lawmaker?
A: When my mother came on the floor of the House and looked at my desk and nameplate with immense pride in her son. My parents were always there for me and sacrificed a lot so I could follow my dreams. The other moment was when my two-and-a-half-year-old son noticed me on the floor of the House the first time from the public galleries and waved and yelled, "Dadda!"
Q: What inspired you to run for office?
A: The Jesuit education at Gonzaga really changed my way of thinking and inspired me to answer the call to service. I was very much inspired by working for two of Washington’s great leaders: U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell and former state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, who is also from Spokane. Finally, my son Brayden deeply inspired me. As newer parents, my wife and I want him and his generation not just to have the same opportunities we have had, we want him to have even more opportunities…and right in Spokane if he chooses.
Q: If you could be any West Wing character, who would it be?
A: A lot of people have actually told me I remind them of Josh Lyman. I had the opportunity to meet the actor, Bradley Whitford, in 2002, which was a very fun experience. I surprised him by not asking about his role in the West Wing but in Revenge of the Nerds 2, which made him crack up.
Q: Imagine being governor for a day, and able to pass any legislation. What problem would you fix?
A: Nobody should go hungry. Ever. My heart breaks especially for children and our seniors who go without.
In case you missed it, check out our featured posts on new Reps. Jessyn Farrell, Steve Bergquist, and Gael Tarleton.
Read this story in Spanish here.