U.S. Rep. Denny Heck running for Washington lieutenant governor

Four months after saying he would retire, U.S. Congressman Denny Heck announced his bid for Washington lieutenant governor Thursday.

Heck is a Democrat who represents parts of Pierce, Thurston, and Mason counties in Washington’s 10th congressional district.

“We are entering an unprecedented era where a civil and fair approach to politics is urgently called for to get things done for Washington families,” Heck said in a statement. “Especially in times like these, we need civility and decency in our political discourse and bold economic leadership to rebuild economic prosperity to every community.”

The position of lieutenant governor is vacant after Cyrus Habib announced last month he would not run for re-election and would be joining the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church. Habib has served as lieutenant governor since 2016.

Heck, who would have been up for re-election this year, announced in December he would retire, saying the work took a toll on him and part of him was “discouraged” with the job.

Heck has spent four terms in Congress where he served on the House Intelligence Committee, which led the impeachment investigation. He also served on the Joint Economic Committee and the Financial Services Committee.

He previously served in the Washington state House, was chief of staff to Governor Booth Gardner and was the co-founder and CEO of TVW.

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The changes under consideration “would be very meaningful because it would be memorializing their commitment to working toward a tighter labor market when the economic circumstances allow for it,” said Rep. Denny Heck (D., Wash.), who is on the House Financial Services Committee. “It would be a huge break from the past.”