Heck announces candidacy for Washington’s lieutenant governor to bring civility, decency and bold economic leadership

(Olympia, WA) U.S. Representative Denny Heck today announced his candidacy for Washington’s lieutenant governor.  

Heck also announced the co-chairs of his election committee: Former Governor Chris Gregoire, Congressman Derek Kilmer, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards, Former Everett Mayor Ray Stephenson, Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle, Spokane business leader Susan Ashe, Port of Seattle Commissioner Sam Cho, environmental activists Martha Kongsgaard and Stephanie Solien, community volunteer and consultant Linda Villegas Bremer, community activist George Scarola, trial lawyer and civil rights activist Lem Howell, Nisqually Council Member Willie Frank III and sovereign policy advocate Peggen Frank.

“What our state and nation need now in positions of responsibility, such as lieutenant governor, is a steady hand, and Denny is as steady as they come,” said Gregoire. 

“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. “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 lieutenant governor is the presiding officer of the Senate and sets the tone for debate and decorum.

The position became open when the incumbent, Democrat Cyrus Habib, announced his decision to retire from politics and enter the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) of the Catholic Church.

Heck is leaving Congress after four terms, where he has served on the House Intelligence Committee that led the impeachment investigation. He also serves on the Joint Economic Committee and the Financial Services Committee. 

By law, the lieutenant governor chairs the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations Committee. 

“This economy is in recession. How fast and how fairly we come out of it will be determined by the bold ideas and decisive actions of our elected officials,” Heck said. “We need strong, fair and sustainable growth.”

In the recently passed federal stimulus bill, Heck was a leading advocate in the U.S. House for strong improvements in the unemployment compensation system and generous benefits to small businesses. Heck has also been the primary leader of strengthening the job-creating Export Import Bank. 

Heck’s previous experience includes serving in the State House of Representatives where he was majority leader, chief of staff to Governor Booth Gardner, and co-founder and CEO of TVW. Heck also spent years in the private sector starting and growing companies.  

Heck has been married for 44 years to Paula Fruci Heck, a retired middle school teacher and principal. They have two grown sons and one grandchild.

Heck is a graduate of The Evergreen State College. Paula is a graduate of Gonzaga University and, by marriage, Heck claims to be the biggest Gonzaga basketball fan alive.


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