Wash. Senate Majority Leader Stepping Down, May Run Statewide In Future

May 3, 2012

One of the most powerful members of the Washington state legislature won’t seek re-election this year. Senate Democratic Leader Lisa Brown made her surprise announcement Thursday at the Capitol. But she didn’t rule out a future run for statewide office.

Brown says she returned to her Spokane district after the protracted 2012 legislative session intending to run again. She was facing a challenge from Spokane City Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin. Brown says she was confident she could win re-election and that Democrats will hold onto their thin majority in the state senate. Nonetheless, Brown says after 20 years in the Washington legislature, the last seven as majority leader, she feels like this chapter of her life is complete. In the past Brown has expressed an interest in running for governor. She says a bid for higher office in the future is a possibility.

“The most interesting political positions out there are either U.S. Senator or Governor,” Brown says.

Brown cites as her proudest accomplishments in the legislature: gay rights culminating this year with the same-sex marriage law. Also, the long and successful fight to allow school levies in Washington to pass on a simple majority vote. In a statement, Governor Chris Gregoire praised Brown as a “true champion” and “true fighter.”

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network