Senator Don Benton has dedicated his legislative career to protecting property rights, reducing property taxes and putting criminals behind bars. Among his achievements is a prominent role in restoring the cap on property tax collections created by voters through Initiative 747. After the state Supreme Court invalidated the law on a technicality, in late 2007, Don successfully advocated for a special one-day session of the Legislature which resulted in the limit being put back into law.
Don considers his father to have been his mentor and first became interested in politics when his father served four terms on the local school board. The passion for politics learned from his father carried over to Don, with his service as student body president in college, to today’s service in the state Senate.
Elective Office: House of Representatives 1994; Senate 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012. Current term expires January 2017.
Special Committees: World War II Memorial Advisory Committee; Chairman, Senate Facilities & Operations Committee.
Special Service: Washington State Chairman, American Legislative Exchange Council.
Awards: Don is especially proud that he was honored by the Washington Council of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs as Legislator of the Year and by the National Federation of Independent Business with its Guardian of Small Business Award. Don has also been recognized by the Association of Washington Business for his business, sound environmental and anti-tax voting record; and by the Washington Credit Unions with their special achievement award.
Community Involvement: Life Member of Vancouver Moose Lodge #1774; Life Member of Mount Hood Masonic Lodge #32; board member of the Wolverton Mountain Gun Club; past president of the Jaycees; past president of the Red Cross Board of Directors; member of the Financial Literacy Public-Private Partnership; former chairman of the Washington State Republican Party; Assistant Scoutmaster and Awards Chairman for his son’s Cub Scout pack in Vancouver.
Professional Experience: An advertising and marketing expert, Don is founder and CEO of the Benton Group, which conducts sales, marketing, and training consulting for television worldwide. His ad agency division manages the marketing and advertising for several law firms and small businesses, 1988 – present; co-founder, Santa Clarita Temporaries, Inc., temporary employment agency, 1979-1983; district manager, Farmers Insurance Group, 1983 – 1988.
Education: Don graduated cum laude from Portland’s Concordia University with a bachelor’s degree in management and communications .
Personal: Don was born and raised on a small farm. He is a long-time resident of Washington State. Don and his wife Mary have four children.