John Lovick made the jump Monday from Snohomish county sheriff to county executive. After a unanimous county council vote in his favor, Lovick replaces the embattled Aaron Reardon who resigned last week.
"My pledge to the people of Snohomish county and my pledge to you is that I will serve with integrity," Lovick told the crowd in the county council chambers.
Lovick declined to talk about his predecessor, who many say left the office with a tarnished image after a series of scandals, including an extra-marital affair and allegations of misusing public funds.
Lovick, a former Washington State Patrol trooper, admitted his promotion was bittersweet because of a personal loss. Trooper Sean O'Connell, a good friend, died last Friday in a collision while on patrol.
"Every time I've been sworn into a position, he was there," Lovick said of O'Connell. "To think about his 7-year-old boy and little girl, who I believe is 4 years old, I can't imagine what [his wife] is going through right now. I went up to the hospital to see her Friday night, and it's so terribly unfortunate."
Lovick talks about the role his own family played in his success. He grew up in small home in Louisiana, with no running water, and attributes his drive and work ethic to his grandmother.
"I watched her never be able to walk in the front door of the places she cleaned," he said. "She would clean those places and she would have to go through the back door. She made it clear to me that she wanted me to walk in the front door of any place I walked in."
From serving with the U.S. Coast Guard, to the Washington State Patrol, and the legislature, Lovick has been a public servant for 43 years. He says bringing jobs to Snohomish County and engaging the business community will be his number one priority.