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November 9, 2013 at 4:38 PM
State Sen. Nick Harper, who ousted an fellow Everett Democratic incumbent in a controversial 2010 primary and then quickly rose to become deputy caucus leader, has resigned.
In a statement released just after the close of a special session Saturday, Harper said, “Unfortunately my work in Olympia takes me away from my family far too much. They deserve a full-time husband and father just as the people of the 38th deserve a full-time Senator. I feel that I cannot be both at this time.”
The resignation, combined with Ed Murray’s election as Seattle mayor, means Senate Democrats have lost their top two leaders in as many days.
They also lost a seat this week, when Nathan Schlicher of Gig Harbor lost a special election.
Murray resigned as leader Friday, although he will temporarily remain in the Senate. David Frockt, also of Seattle, is taking his leadership post on an interim basis.
Harper, a 34-year-old attorney who grew up in Port Townsend, unseated Sen. Jean Berkey in 2010 in a primary that drew widespread attention when it was revealed that a liberal political consultant failed to report sources of third-party campaign spending that aimed to benefit Harper.
The consultant, Moxie Media, agreed to pay the state $290,000 in fines and legal costs.
When the Legislature convened that winter, another Democrat, Sen. Jim Kastama, tried unsuccessfully to deny Harper his seat.
Despite that rocky start, Harper rose quickly among his peers.
As deputy leader of the Democratic Caucus, he had been seen as a candidate for caucus leader in 2014.
He was also up for reelection in 2014.
Instead, he will leave a year early.
“The combination of legislative session, a series of special sessions, and interim responsibilities are important, exciting work, but require full time attention,” Harper said in his statement. “As a husband, father of two girls and an attorney, I feel that I am unable to meet that requirement.”
The Snohomish County Council will choose a replacement from a list of three candidates chosen by local party officials.
October 22, 2013 at 1:09 PM
The longest serving Republican in the state House plans to step down at the end of the year, according to a statement released Tuesday.
State Rep. Larry Crouse, R-Spokane Valley, said his Dec. 31 resignation is for family reasons. The 68-year-old’s statement cited the fact that both he and his wife Peggy have endured health issues in recent years.
“This is the best job I’ve ever had, but it’s time,” Crouse said.
Crouse, who was born in Seattle but moved to the Spokane area in 1974, was elected to office in 1995, according to the statement. He currently serves as the assistant ranking GOP member of the state House Technology and Economic Development Committee.
House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen said Crouse is “respected by people of all political persuasions.”
“He is a trusted statesman and a true gentleman – the type of leader we need in today’s political arena,” said Kristiansen, R-Snohomish.
Crouse’s resignation will leave his safe Republican seat filled by a temporary replacement until 2014, when his term ends.
July 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM
A policy assistant for Rob McKenna’s gubernatorial campaign has resigned after coming under fire earlier this week for some old tweets she posted on Twitter, a campaign spokesman said.
The tweets, which appeared to mock Asians and the elderly, were sent by Kathlyn Ehl before she started volunteering for the campaign in April. She became a paid staffer last month after graduating from the University of Washington.
One of them, sent in January, read, “shut up and speak english #asians.” The other, from November, said, “If it takes you an entire green light to walk in front of my car GET A WHEELCHAIR #toooldtowalk.”
Ehl apologized for the tweets after The Stranger newspaper published them Monday. McKenna, a Republican and the attorney general, called them “insensitive and wrong.”
But that was not enough for some, who called for McKenna to fire Ehl. Members of an Asian and Pacific Islander organization said they were planning to protest outside of the campaign headquarters Wednesday afternoon.
In a statement released late Wednesday morning, McKenna campaign manager Randy Pepple expressed regret at how the incident ended.
“As the father of two young women, it pains me to accept the resignation of a young woman for a mistake which occurred before she had even begun her career,” he said. “However, as we have said, and Kathlyn readily acknowledges, her tweets were offensive and insensitive. Kathlyn suggested, and I agreed after consultation with some of our campaign’s grassroots leaders, that her ongoing involvement on the campaign would be a constant reminder of her lapse in judgment.
“Life teaches us difficult lessons, and sometimes at a very young age,” he added. “My hope is that she will find some benefit from having learned this lesson now, as it will undoubtedly be a long-lasting one.”
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