Hillary Franz ends governor run, shifts to replace Derek Kilmer in U.S. House

Nov 10, 2023, 3:40 PM | Updated: 3:41 pm

Hilary franz governor house...

Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz announced she was running for Governor in 2024 (Washington State Department of Natural Resources)

(Washington State Department of Natural Resources)

Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz said Friday that she is dropping out of the race for the next governor of Washington state and instead will be running to represent the 6th Congressional District.

Franz initially announced her candidacy for governor in May but failed to win endorsements of prominent state democrats like incumbent governor Jay Inslee, who instead endorsed comparator and incumbent Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

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Franz served as the Public Lands Commissioner since 2017, when she ran for the position after Commissioner Peter J. Goldmark retired.

“From climate change to abortion rights, rising costs, threats to democracy, and the gun violence epidemic, the challenges we face today go beyond the borders of our state, and so must our solutions,” Franz said in her new campaign video. “That’s why I’m running for Congress, to lower costs for working families, to get at the root causes of our most intractable problems, and build a future the next generation can count on.”

Franz has been endorsed by incumbent Representative Derek Kilmer, who abruptly announced Thursday he won’t seek a seventh term.

“I’ve looked at life in chapters. The decade I spent working in economic development. The eight years I spent in the Washington State Legislature. The nearly eleven years I’ve already spent in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Kilmer wrote in a press release. “I never intended for this chapter to be something I’d do for the rest of my life, and – as I shared with my kids – I’m excited to start a new chapter when my term is complete.”

Kilmer talked of his time in Congress celebrating his chance to represent his hometown and fondly speaking of his accomplishments like increased broadband access for rural areas, flood relief, funding for small-town ports, and his time with the New Democrat Coalition.

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Hillary Franz ends governor run, shifts to replace Derek Kilmer in U.S. House