Veteran state Sen. Tracey Eide (D-30, Federal Way) announced this afternoon that after 18 years in the legislature, she will not seek reelection.
Eide, currently the co-chair of the senate transportation committee, (admirably) laughed off state Sen. Rodney Tom's (D-48, Medina) recent attempt to amend the flailing transportation package so that the split to save King County Metro bus service went from 60/40 buses/roads to 40/60 buses/roads. She said today:
“I will not be running for re-election as senator of the 30th Legislative District this November. Shortly after my re-election in 2010, I decided that this term would be my last and that I would pour myself into this term and then open the door for someone else. That time is here.
“After 18 years in the Legislature, including 16 in the Senate, I leave with mixed feelings. I’ve taken joy and satisfaction in every successful effort on behalf of my constituents and my state, and I’ve agonized over those that came up short. It has been a point of privilege and honor to represent my district. I wish I could have done even more, but I’m sure every legislator feels that way."
The news—as opposed to, say, Sen. Adam Kline's (D-37, Southeast Seattle) recent retirement announcement in a safe Democratic district—comes just days after the former longtime Democratic rep from Eide's district, Mark Miloscia, announced he's running for her seat. The catch? The adamantly pro-labor, and just as adamantly anti-choice and anti-gay marriage representative is running as a Republican.
The 30th District house delegation is split between a freshman Democrat, Rep. Roger Freeman, one of only two African-Americans in the house, and a Republican, Linda Kochmar.
I have a call in to Rep. Freeman.
Here's the rest of Eide's statement:
I came to the Legislature as a PTA mom and never lost my passion for fighting to improve opportunities for our students. From leading the fight for Simple Majority legislation to eliminate the supermajority voting requirement to pass school levies, to funding the Digital Learning Commons, I’ve never stopped fighting that fight. Along the way, I was also proud to lead the charge for the Intermediate Driver’s License legislation that has reduced teen driving deaths and serious injuries by nearly half, and the highway safety bill that restricts drivers from texting or talking on handheld phones.
None of these gains came quickly or easily, but all were worth the years and work it took to shepherd them to passage. If just one child is a better student or one less Washingtonian dies in an auto accident because of those laws, it will have been more than worth it. And I would be remiss if I failed to salute the many colleagues and stakeholders who fought so hard, for so long, alongside me to make sure those bills became reality. Thank you for fighting the good fight and for fighting it so well.
It has been my fortune and my pleasure to have worked with many, many amazing and unforgettable people over the years, both inside and outside the Legislature. I thank them for their help and their blood and their sweat and their tears.
Most of all, I thank my constituents for trusting me to represent their interests. I have been humbled and honored to serve the fine people of my district.