NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate provides the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

Peter Goldmark announces his retirement as Washington’s Commissioner of Public Lands

Wash­ing­ton State’s incum­bent Com­mis­sion­er of Pub­lic Lands has just announced via Face­book that he’s decid­ed to step down and will not seek a third term in 2016.

Peter J. Gold­mark, six­ty-nine, has served as the state’s inde­pen­dent­ly elect­ed chief of the Depart­ment of Nat­ur­al Resources since Jan­u­ary 2009. He was orig­i­nal­ly elect­ed in 2008, defeat­ing incum­bent Repub­li­can Doug Suther­land. He was reelect­ed in 2012, defeat­ing Repub­li­can chal­lenger Clint Didier.

In a state­ment, Gold­mark said:

After talk­ing with my fam­i­ly, I have now decid­ed not to seek a third term as Washington’s Com­mis­sion­er of Pub­lic Lands. These last eight years have been the high­light of my near­ly 40 years of pub­lic ser­vice. Thank you to the many friends through­out the state who sup­port and guide me. The ded­i­cat­ed staff at DNR are an inspi­ra­tion every work­ing day. And my grat­i­tude goes to the peo­ple of Wash­ing­ton, who have twice giv­en me the hon­or of choos­ing me to serve. I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing that ser­vice until Jan­u­ary 2017.

Gold­mark, who owns a ranch in Okanogan Coun­ty and ran against Cathy McMor­ris Rodgers for Con­gress in 2008, is the only cur­rent mem­ber of the exec­u­tive depart­ment who hails from East­ern Wash­ing­ton. (The oth­er eight mem­bers — Jay Inslee, Brad Owen, Bob Fer­gu­son, Kim Wyman, Troy Kel­ley, Jim McIn­tire, Randy Dorn, and Mike Krei­dler — are from West­ern Washington).

Two indi­vid­u­als besides Gold­mark have filed so far to run for Com­mis­sion­er of Pub­lic Lands in 2016. They are Karen Porter­field, a Demo­c­rat who unsuc­cess­ful­ly chal­lenged Dave Reichert in 2012, and Steven M. Niel­son of Port Orchard, who iden­ti­fies as a Lib­er­tar­i­an. Porter­field has raised $7,300 to date, accord­ing to Pub­lic Dis­clo­sure Com­mis­sion data. Niel­son has not report­ed rais­ing any mon­ey so far.

Gold­mark’s announce­ment is like­ly to prompt addi­tion­al can­di­dates to seek the job of Com­mis­sion­er of Pub­lic Lands. It’s not often the posi­tion comes open.

Also retir­ing from their posi­tions in the exec­u­tive depart­ment this year are Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor Brad Owen, Trea­sur­er Jim McIn­tire, and Super­in­ten­dent of Pub­lic Instruc­tion Randy Dorn. Troy Kel­ley has­n’t said he’s retir­ing, but we can’t imag­ine he’s going to seek reelection.

If Kel­ley does­n’t file for reelec­tion, it will guar­an­tee that a major­i­ty of the posi­tions in Wash­ing­ton’s exec­u­tive depart­ment will be turn­ing over as of next January.

We at NPI thank Peter Gold­mark for his many years of ser­vice to our state as Com­mis­sion­er and wish him the best in retirement.

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