For the first time in eight years, there’ll be an open seat in our area’s 34th Legislative District – State Sen. Sharon Nelson announced today that she will not run for re-election. The Maury Island resident has served in the Legislature for 10 years, first in the House, where she won Legislator of the Year after just one year. In fall of 2010, she moved up to the Senate, where she became Majority Leader earlier this year. In a note to colleagues in Olympia today, she said, in part:
… Five years ago, when I became leader, my goals were to build a strong caucus and to retake the majority and to show what that majority meant to the State of Washington. Because of each of you, my goals have been achieved. … it is time for me to return next year to being a wife, mother, grandmother and daughter (yes, my mother is 89 and still a big part of our family). Simply said, I am not running for re-election to the Senate and looking forward to time with my family while all of you are in session next year!
Sen. Nelson’s focuses have included environmental and consumer protection. So who will run to succeed her? No word yet. The official filing week starts May 14th.
ADDED WEDNESDAY: The first person we asked about potential candidacy was 34th District Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, who worked for Sen. Nelson before his election. His reply: “I have not yet decided if I will run for Sen. Nelson’s seat. I am taking input from friends regarding in which chamber they think I can be most effective for our district and our priorities. I will be making a decision soon.”