The second-longest-serving member of the Washington Legislature has confirmed she will not run for re-election. Longtime House Budget Chair Helen Sommers, D-Seattle, told me: "This is my last session. I'm not going to run again." Asked why, she laughed and said: "Because I'm 75 years old and I'll be 76 in a couple weeks. That's why."
Sommers has served in the Legislature since 1973. Her 34-year tenure is second only to John L. O'Brien, who served 52 years.
Crosscut first reported last December that Sommers was considering hanging up her hat. She caught some supporters off guard by returning campaign checks.
There's no word yet on who will replace Sommers in the powerful budget chair position. However, a member of that committee says potential candidates are already angling for that coveted spot.