When our area’s State Sen. Sharon Nelson announced last week that she would not run for re-election, the question immediately arose, who will run to succeed her? One seemingly natural successor, State Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon – who had been mentored by Nelson before he joined the Legislature eight years ago – has made his decision: He wants to stay in the House. His announcement today:
After much consideration and receiving much advice, I believe the place I can be the most effective for my district and the issues I care about is in the House of Representatives. I’ll be running for reelection to the House this year, not for the Senate.
2019 can be (and needs to be) a watershed year in the Washington State Legislature on fighting climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. There is great energy and leadership around climate priorities in the Senate right now, and staying in the House lets me focus on building momentum for climate and clean energy progress in our chamber. I’m also motivated to make progress in the House on gun safety, death penalty repeal, multimodal transportation infrastructure, restoring habitat for salmon and other endangered species, and fixing our upside-down tax code.
I also love the team-oriented culture of the House and want to remain a part of a great team, the House Democrats, that I know and love well. I’m confident that our district will choose a great new senator to represent us, who can make the 34th district proud and serve the Senate and the state well.
Thanks to all who provided advice and input as I made my decision. I’d be honored to have your support as I run for reelection.
The official filing period for legislative offices is in mid-May. Rep. Fitzgibbon is one of two State House representatives for the 34th District – which includes West Seattle, White Center, Vashon and Maury Islands, and part of Burien – along with Rep. Eileen Cody. He won re-election four years ago with 82 percent of the vote over another Democrat, Brendan Kolding; Cody and Nelson were both re-elected that year without opponents.