After 30 years, ex-state House speaker Frank Chopp won’t seek reelection

Mar 13, 2024, 8:16 PM | Updated: Mar 29, 2024, 1:38 pm

Image: Rep. Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, was the Washington Speaker of the House for 20 years....

Rep. Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, was the Washington Speaker of the House for 20 years. (Photo courtesy of the Washington House Democrats/

(Photo courtesy of the Washington House Democrats/

Longtime lawmaker and former state House Speaker Rep. Frank Chopp, D-Seattle, announced Wednesday he will not seek reelection after a 30-year run serving in the Washington State Legislature.

Chopp’s run as a legislator representing parts of Seattle — the state’s 43rd district — includes serving as the state House speaker for an unprecedented 20-year tenure.

As he prepares to leave public office, Chopp said he’ll continue to advocate for education, working families, and low income people in need.

“After 30 years of legislative service, I will continue to advocate and organize efforts in the public interest as a public citizen, but no longer running for re-election as a state representative,” Chopp said in a news release Wednesday. “As always, as a legislator and before that as a community organizer, and now in my new endeavors, I focus on the values that have guided my decades of service: working together for one Washington; common sense for the common good, and a positive agenda in the public interest.”

From Colleen O’Brien: Sen. Karen Keiser explains why this is the time to retire

Rep. Frank Chopp points out his accomplishments

Chopp, who began his career as a community organizer and advocate, has focused on these issues throughout his years of work.

“I am energized by the work I have done to expand health care, fund education, create non-profit housing, make our economy more fair, help workers organize, protect our air and water, and invest in critical infrastructure,” Chopp said in his statement.

The press release issued Wednesday noted Chopp’s accomplishments as a legislator, specifically pointing out an expansion of non-profit housing, behavioral health care and student financial aid.

“I’ve always been driven by the belief that everyone deserves a foundation of home, health, and hope,” Chopp stated in the release. “These are the basic needs for economic success, for better education outcomes, for restoring lives and reaching potential.”

Republican to depart: Rep. J.T. Wilcox explains why he’s leaving the state legislature

Chopp, who lives in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, is a native of Bremerton and he graduated from the University of Washington in 1975. From there, he started his career as a community organizer before being elected to the state House in 1994. He became co-Speaker of the House in 1999 and began serving as the only House Speaker in 2002. Chopp has served as Speaker Emeritus since 2019.

As for what’s next for Chopp, the long-time legislator said in his statement he is “excited for the next generation of leaders carrying on this work” and he will keep advocating and organizing efforts “in the public interest as a public citizen.”

“As people know about me, I am not the retiring type,” Chopp said.

Steve Coogan is the lead editor of MyNorthwest. You can read more of his stories here. Follow Steve on X, formerly known as Twitter, here and email him here.

MyNorthwest Politics

Photo: President Joe Biden participates in a briefing in the Oval Office of the White House, Dec. 2...

Luke Duecy

What Biden’s withdrawal from the presidential race means for Washington

The news is out that President Joe Biden has stepped out of the race but we asked experts, how will Biden's withdrawal impact Washington?

8 hours ago

Image: Vice President Kamala Harris speaks from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Mo...

Associated Press

Harris wins Pelosi endorsement, delegates and claims fundraising record with $81M haul

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, who initially had been one of the notable holdouts, endorsed Kamala Harris Monday.

14 hours ago

Photo: President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the 75th anniversary of NATO at the Andrew W. Mellon...

MyNorthwest and KIRO Newsradio staff

‘Bring it on:’ Washington officials react to Biden dropping out of the race

Washington officials have reacted to President Joe Biden dropping out of the 2024 presidential election.

2 days ago

Image: Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and President Joe Biden attend a trilateral meeting in t...

Associated Press

Democrats promise ‘orderly process’ to replace Biden, where Harris is favored but questions remain

As President Joe Biden ends his reelection bid and endorses Vice President Kamala Harris, Democrats must navigate an unprecedented shift.

2 days ago

Image: President Joe Biden speaks at the 115th NAACP National Convention at the Mandalay Bay Conven...

Associated Press

Biden drops out of 2024 race after disastrous debate inflamed age concerns. VP Harris gets his nod

Biden dropped out of the 2024 race for the White House on Sunday, ending his bid for reelection following a disastrous debate with Trump.

2 days ago

Seattle Traffic...

Bill Kaczaraba

City of Seattle oversight leads to tens of thousands getting $10 checks

A curious turn of events unfolded in Seattle as over 44,000 car owners and businesses began receiving unexpected $10 checks.

3 days ago

After 30 years, ex-state House speaker Frank Chopp won’t seek reelection