Born and raised in the 16th Legislative District, Senator Hewitt has spent his entire life in southeast Washington. A resident of Walla Walla, he owned a small business for 23 years before being elected to the state Senate in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012. His current term runs through January of 2017.
Senator Hewitt serves on several standing Senate committees. He is a member of the Ways and Means Committee, which deals with the state budget, and the Natural Resources and Parks Committee.
Senator Hewitt’s peers elected him to serve as Senate Republican Leader in 2005, a position he held until 2012. Prior to serving as leader Hewitt served as Senate Republican Whip, Majority Whip and Republican Assistant Whip.
Senator Hewitt’s experience as a small business owner serves as an excellent foundation for his work on business and economic development issues. He is a former member of the Legislative Committee on Economic Development, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Trade Policy, and the Washington State Investment Board.
Senator Hewitt is also a former chairman of the Walla Walla Planning Commission and has received the Association of Washington Business’s “Cornerstone” award and the Washington Association of Small Business Incubators’ Small Business Advocate of the Year award. In 2009, Senator Hewitt received the highest honor bestowed on legislators by the Association of Washington Business – the Jim Matson Award for “demonstrating time and again his first-hand understanding of the challenges faced by Washington employers.”
Senator Hewitt also has a passion for veterans’ issues, In 2007 and 2008 he sponsored bills to allow family members of fallen and disabled veterans to attend college tuition-free, and recently received the Glenn Galbreath Spirit Award from the Northwest Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans.
Senator Hewitt also works closely with the Hispanic Community and has received the Dr. Pedro Celis FUERZA award.
When the Legislature is not in session, Senator Hewitt resides in Walla Walla with his wife Cory.
Legislative Leadership: Senate Republican Leader, 2005-12; Senate Republican Whip, 2005; Majority Whip, 2003-04; Republican Assistant Whip, 2001-02.
Elective Office: Senate 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012, current term expires January 2017.
Special Committees: Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations; Washington State Investment Board; and the Washington State Gambling Commission. Former member of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Trade Policy; Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB); Senate Facilities & Operations Committee; Economic and Revenue Forecast Council; Caseload forecast Council; and the Washington State Tourism Commission.
Professional Activities: Small business owner for 23 years; Former Chairman, Walla Walla Planning Commission; advocate for small business issues.
Awards and Honors: Six-time winner of the National Federation of Independent Business “Guardian of Small Business” award; Washington Council of Police and Sheriff’s 2008 Legislator of the Year; Northwest Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans’ Glenn Galbreath Spirit Award; Association of Washington Business “Cornerstone” award; Dr. Pedro Celis FUERZA Award; Capitol Land Trust “Preserving our Precious Places” award; Washington State Coalition for the Homeless Outstanding Support award; Washington Association of Small Business Incubators’ Small Business Advocate of the Year; Washington Wine Institute Award; Washington State Low-Income Alliance Outstanding Support award; Tri-Cities’ Cinco de Mayo Committee Amigo award; Washington Farm Bureau’s Legislator of the Year and Exceptional Service to the Agricultural Community award; Exceptional nominee, Small Business Administration’s Small Businessman of the Year.
Civic Activities: Walla Walla Adult Day Care Advisory Committee; Elks; United Way; YMCA; State Penitentiary Citizen Advisory Council; Walla Walla Valley Medical Board of Directors, member 7 years, president 3 years; Walla Walla, Rotary Club, member, past President (1995).
Personal: Senator Hewitt owned and operated Hewitt Distributing for 23 years. He and his wife Cory have two grown sons. He enjoys fly fishing, golfing and whitewater rafting.