John Roskelley

Good government ... It's when facts, truth, science, and moral ground is observed and followed, regardless of what party you belong too. Good government is what I seek to employ as a Senator.

John Roskelley


This is a time in our state’s history to tighten our money belt; protect and provide for our most important assets, seniors and retirees; and remember Washington’s environment – it’s cool clear water, crisp clean air, and magnificent endless forests – is why so many of us live here. That’s why the 4th Legislative District needs new direction; new vision; and certainly, new representation in Olympia.

WSU Graduate in Geology

Former Spokane County Commissioner


Paddled the Columbia River Source to Mouth

My Promise to You


I will listen to you

You are my constituents and the reason I will be elected. My door to you is always open. It is not a revolving door for lobbyists. I will return your emails and telephone calls and listen to your message. That does not mean I will agree with you on every issue, but the opportunity is yours to discuss and educate me with facts, figures, and science.

I will treat the office and you with respect and dignity.

In politics, we all have our differences of opinion on many issues, even within the same party. It's how we deal with each other that can influence our decisions. During my first run for office, I sat down with an older friend for some advice. He advised me to look at both sides of the issue and make my decision based on what the majority would consider "good government". I asked him what "good government" meant because it's such a generic statement. He simply said, "You'll know it when you see it." I have seen it. It's when facts, truth, science, and moral ground is observed and followed, regardless of what party you belong too. Good government is what I seek to employ as a Senator.

I will honor my oath of office.

I have a responsibility to defend the Constitution of the United States and the laws and regulations of the state of Washington. I will not sign any "pledge" or an "allegiance" to any group or organization that limits or removes my duties as an elected Senator. Be part of a solution to change Olympia. I'm running to work for you, not for a political party or political action committee (PAC).

I will work for the 4th District.

I'm elected to represent the people of the 4th District and to work on issues that will improve their lives, such as affordable healthcare, education opportunities, business regulations, crime prevention, improved transportation, parks and recreation, clean water, clean air, and land use. As one of 49 Senators, though, every vote I take and every decision I make must also take into consideration all Washingtonians, as every bill has broad implications and fiscal responsibility. As a former county commissioner who worked on issues in the 4th District before Spokane Valley incorporated, lived for 11th years at 12th and Skipworth in the valley, and for the past 36 years near Mt. Spokane, I'm well aware of the diversity of people we have in this District. It's a melting pot of ideas and opinions I'm willing to bring together for the good of us all.

Who is John?

Author and photographer, John Roskelley, is a dabbler in everything outdoors. If he’s not dodging rocks on some alpine face in Canada or scratching his way up a frozen WI6 waterfall, John can be found hiking solo 78 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail from Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass in under 48 hours; or paddling the Columbia River in a sea kayak from source to mouth.  John admits adventuring flows in his blood. In his first half century, John fought his way up four 8,000-meter peaks, including K2 and Everest, plus a plethora of devilishly hard, unclimbed shorter Himalayan and Karakorum faces and ridges.


John grew up in north Spokane riding his bike and delivering newspapers for the Spokane Daily Chronicle and Spokesman Review.
A graduate of WSU in geology, John’s occupation changed as frequently as the weather. He worked underground in the Pend Oreille Mine at Metaline Falls; mapped 100-year-old mining claims for the U.S. Bureau of Mines in central Idaho; guided young and old up the Grand Teton for Exum Mountain Guides; authored four adventure books; shot the cover photo for the May 1979 issue of National Geographic; served nine years as a Spokane County Commissioner, and six years on the state’s Growth Management Hearings Board; he served 17 years as a volunteer fireman/EMT for Fire District 9; and led numerous groups on Himalayan treks to India, Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan. He only has one criterion – independence.

John believes its important to give back to the community where he was born and raised. He served on the Spokane Guild’s School Foundation Board; the Friends of the Centennial Trail Board; the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition; the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, the Washington State Nature Conservancy Board, was a volunteer rescue ranger in Denali National Park; volunteered as a death investigator for the Spokane County Medical Examiner, and is currently on the board of CELP, Center for Environmental Law and Policy.


John owes his stamina and longevity to his mom and dad, and what patience he’s developed over the years to Joyce, his wife of 48 years, and three children, Dawn, Jess, and Jordan. He is currently writing his fifth book, an historical novel set in central Washington around the early to mid-1900’s.

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