Sen. Andy Hill, R-Redmond, told his circle of supporters Friday afternoon that he won't run for governor in 2016.
For the past several months, Hill has been a hotly rumored GOP candidate to run against incumbent Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee.
“While I also believe it is a great time politically to undertake this effort, I’ve decided it would not be best for the Hill family at this time," wrote Hill in an email. "While Molly and the kids have always supported my efforts and worked along-side many of you on my campaigns, the fact remains that I have two kids in high school this year– a senior considering colleges and a freshman new to the high school experience. I want to be there for them."
Hill noted that he had also faced a re-election campaign last year. “Many of you may remember me on the campaign trail joking about how there was a cardboard cut-out of me at home while I ran for re-election." He added, "Despite the kids’ assurances [of support for another run], Dad knows best on this one."
Hill just finished his fifth year as a state senator, and his third session as chairman of the Senate Ways & Means Committee, meaning he is the Senate GOP’s chief budget writer.
Currently, only one other Republican is in the gubernatorial race — former Port of Seattle commissioner Bill Bryant.
State Democratic party spokesman Jamal Raad, said in a written statement: "The Republicans spent months pumping Andy Hill in preparation for a run for higher office, and with Bill Bryant's campaign floundering, this latest recruiting failure is a huge blow to Republicans.”
As of Friday, Inslee has raised $2.32 million for his 2016 gubernatorial campaign, compared to Bryant’s $528,748.
This story was first published on September 11.