Colleen O’Brien: Rep. Wilcox explains why he’s leaving the legislature

Mar 1, 2024, 12:48 PM | Updated: 12:54 pm

Image: Washington's 2nd District Representative J.T. Wilcox is resigning....

Washington's 2nd District Rep. J.T. Wilcox is resigning. (Photo courtesy Washington House of Republicans)

(Photo courtesy Washington House of Republicans)

After 14 years in the Washington State Legislature, 2nd District Republican Rep. J.T. Wilcox, recently announced he won’t be running for another term. He said younger leadership needs to take over and he’s tired of his colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, focusing on theatrics rather than results.

Wilcox is a member of the Wilcox family, who owns Wilcox Family Farms. Wilcox Family Farms is an advertiser on KIRO Newsradio.

“I knew in my heart it was time to go,” Wilcox said, remarking that 12 of his 14 years were spent in Republican leadership. “I feel like I’ve just got too much baggage at this point to be as enthusiastic as I used to be and this is a unique job. Most jobs you’re there working for yourself. In this job, if you’re going to do it well you’ve got to be doing it for everybody else.”

Previous J.T. Wilcox coverage: ‘Almost nothing of consequence’ passed, the state House Republican leader said

I was surprised to hear phrases like ‘painful moments’

I was surprised to hear him use phrases like “painful moments” and “too much baggage” in his explanation for resigning his position. He explained part of it has to do with being in the Republican minority for years and working hard despite knowing the work would be overshadowed by Democrat priorities.

For future lawmakers, his advice is to turn off the noise and focus on the work.

“I was recently asked ‘What would be your advice for people that come into the legislature in the future’ and the first thing that I would say is do what I did, quit watching national news,” Wilcox said. “For God’s sake be yourself rather than modeling yourself after the people that appear most, whether it’s MSNBC or FOX or CNN or any of those — those are generally performers.

“Not all of them but the ones that show up the most are there because they’re good performers,” he continued. “We don’t need that in Washington and the very best legislators are people, Republicans and Democrats, whose names you don’t know.”

More from Colleen O’Brien: Seafood fraud, what is it and how to avoid it

To hear the entire interview with Rep. Wilcox, listen to the March 1 Seattle’s Morning News podcast.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5-9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Colleen O’Brien: Rep. Wilcox explains why he’s leaving the legislature