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14 state legislators leaving their seats in 2021

As of now, 14 Washington State legislators are either retiring from the Legislature or running for another public office.

Seven House Democrats will be leaving their caucus while no Senate Democrats have announced their intention to go elsewhere. The Republicans will see four House members depart in 2021 along with three senators.

All in all, it breaks down to an even split between both parties, at least for the time being.

Below is a list of outgoing members from each caucus.

House Democrats

Rep. Pat Sullivan (Covington) – The House Majority Leader will retire from the Washington State Legislature at the end of his current term. He has served as House Majority Leader since 2010. First elected to the state House in 2004, Sullivan directed much of his attention toward issues related to education and economic development.  He served as a budget negotiator since 2009 and helped craft budgets from the Great Recession through this past session.

Rep. Eric Pettigrew (Renton) – The House Democratic Caucus Chair will retire from the Washington State Legislature at the end of his current term in January 2021. Elected to the state House of Representatives in 2002, Pettigrew has been a consistent progressive voice in the Legislature on issues such as affordable housing, homelessness, gang violence, childcare, public education, and economic development.

Rep. Sherry Appleton (Poulsbo) – The senior member of the 23rd-district legislative team will retire at the end of her current term in January 2021. Her retirement will cap off 16 years of service in the House. She focussed on issues affecting veterans and active-duty military personnel and their families. Her other policy focuses included criminal justice, animal welfare, education and transportation.

Rep. Christine Kilduff (University Place) – House Civil Rights & Judiciary Committee Chair Christine Kilduff will not seek re-election when at the end of her current term in January 2021. First elected in 2014, Kilduff utilized her legal expertise to focus on issues related to public schools, military and working families, the LGBTQ community, children and individuals with developmental disabilities. 

Rep. Gael Tarleton (Seattle) – Former Majority Floor Leader Rep. Gael Tarleton has represented Washington’s 36th Legislative District for the past 7 years. She is running for Secretary of State, challenging incumbent Republican Kim Wyman. She has focussed on reforming Washington’s tax structure, health and economic disparities, educational access, climate change, global economic forces, and risks to vulnerable populations.

Rep. Beth Doglio (Olympia) – A two-term representative from the 22nd district, Beth Doglio is running for Congress in a crowded field to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Denny Heck in Washington’s 10th Congressional District. She has focussed on environmental and labor policy in the Legislature. 

Rep. Mike Pellicciotti (Federal Way) – 30th District Representative and former prosecutor Mike Pellicciotti  is running for State Treasurer, challenging Republican Duane Davidson in 2020. He has crafted legislation to enhance transparency and accountability across government, elections and the private sector.

Senate Democrats

As of now, there are no Senate Democrats who have announced they will retire or run for another public office.

House Republicans

Rep. Norma Smith (Clinton) – Longtime 10th District Representative Norma Smith will retire at the end of her sixth term in January 2021. In addition to serving as the ranking Republican on the House Innovation, Technology and Economic Development Committee, Smith has been applauded for securing $1 million in state historic preservation grants for the Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve and working to protect Washington State Ferry services.

Rep. Richard Debolt (Chehalis) – Former leader of the House Republican Caucus Richard Debolt will retire after 24 years of service in the House. Arriving in Olympia when House Republicans were in the majority and serving when the House was split into a rare tie with 49 Republicans and 49 Democrats, Debolt is known for his deep institutional knowledge of the Legislature. 

Rep. Bill Jenkin (Prosser) – 16th District Representative is running for the Washington State Senate to replace retiring Sen. Maureen Walsh. Jenkin has aimed to create jobs and foster economic growth, address educational challenges without raising taxes; and expand Washington’s wine industry. 

Rep. Chris Gildon (Puyallup) – 25th District Representative Chris Gildon is running for the Washington State Senate to replace Sen. Hans Zeiger, who is running for Pierce County Council. A 23-year veteran Army Officer, Gildon has focused on issues related to veterans, as well as college and workforce development. 

Senate Republicans 

Sen. Randi Becker (Olympia) – Sen. Randi Becker will retire after 12 years of service in the Washington State Senate. A former medical practice administrator, Becker has been an advocate for health-care policy, especially telemedicine.

Sen. Maureen Walsh (Walla Walla) – 16th District Sen. Maureen Walsh will not seek re-election in 2020. While in the Legislature, her priorities included creating economic growth, addressing agriculture and water needs, making health care more affordable, preparing students for a changing economy and government accountability. 

Sen. Hans Zeiger (Puyallup) – Sen. Hans Zeiger is running for the Pierce County Council seat being vacated by Pam Roach. Serving three terms in the state House of Representatives before 25th District voters elected him to the Washington State Senate in 2016. He is credited with helping secure funding to complete State Route 167 and for his work on higher education policy.

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