MYNORTHWEST POLITICS

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/housedemocrats.wa.gov)

(Photo courtesy of the Washington House Democrats/housedemocrats.wa.gov)

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.

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