State Sen. Reuven Carlyle to step aside after 13 years in office

Jan 24, 2022, 12:51 PM | Updated: 12:56 pm
Reuven Carlyle...
State Sen. Reuven Carlyle. (WA Senate Democrats)
(WA Senate Democrats)

Washington State Sen. Reuven Carlyle will not be running for reelection in 2022, as he steps away from the Legislature after 13 years in office.

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Carlyle represents the state’s 36th Legislative District, spanning Seattle’s Belltown, Queen Anne, Uptown, Ballard, and Blue Ridge neighborhoods. He was first elected to the Legislature as a state representative in 2008, defeating fellow Democrat John Burbank by a 66% to 24% margin. He then ran unopposed in a move to the state Senate in 2016, where he’s served ever since. Across six elections, he has never garnered less than 86% of votes.

In a statement announcing his decision, Carlyle did not specify what his plans would be moving forward, saying only that intends to “consider new opportunities for leadership in other public and private sector arenas.”

“Civic engagement is part of the soul of my DNA,” he said. “I will remain passionately and enthusiastically engaged at every level in the quality of life of our community.”

He also noted that he hoped by announcing his decision to step aside now, he would be allowing “sufficient time for everyone in our community to have a fair and equal chance to seek this important office.”

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He looks back on his time in the Legislature fondly, detailing how he “tried to be a policy workhorse who can county votes and pass historically significant legislation,” and touting bills he sponsored related to clean energy, education, carbon pricing, and more.

“I’ve tried to live by the guiding principles of bipartisan relationships, negotiations, and compromise,” he added. “I reject rigid ideology and hit-and-run politics in favor of the grace of dialogue.”

His departure will leave an opening for the chair of the Senate’s Finance Committee, which plays a central role in drafting the state’s budget.

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State Sen. Reuven Carlyle to step aside after 13 years in office