Kristine Reeves
Kristine Reeves (courtesy of the campaign)

Well-regard­ed State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Kris­tine Reeves (D‑30th Dis­trict: Fed­er­al Way) announced this morn­ing in a video post­ed to her Face­book wall that she is resign­ing from the Wash­ing­ton State House to begin a new adven­ture that has to do with the oth­er Wash­ing­ton, mean­ing our nation’s capital.

“Even though we’ve accom­plished so much in this Wash­ing­ton, crit­i­cal pri­or­i­ties to our kids, to work­ing fam­i­lies, and to com­mu­ni­ties are under attack in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.  And that has to change. That’s why I’m ask­ing you to join me in the next phase of this fight,” Reeves says in the video’s clos­ing seconds.

She did not elab­o­rate fur­ther as to what she meant. But there is spec­u­la­tion on social media that an announce­ment about run­ning for Con­gress is immi­nent. Which would make sense. U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Den­ny Heck recent­ly announced his retire­ment, and if Reeves wants to be a full time can­di­date for his seat, step­ping down now allows a suc­ces­sor to be appoint­ed before the ses­sion begins.

Speak­er-des­ig­nate Lau­rie Jink­ins (D‑27th Dis­trict) said she’ll miss Reeves greatly.

“Dur­ing her time in the leg­is­la­ture, Kris­tine Reeves has been a tire­less advo­cate for Washington’s work­ing fam­i­lies, and a col­lab­o­ra­tive team play­er in the leg­isla­tive process,” Jink­ins said in a state­ment sent to NPI.

“Her work here has result­ed in bet­ter poli­cies that sup­port our state’s mil­i­tary ser­vice mem­bers, vet­er­ans, and their fam­i­lies, and advanced our efforts to address the need for afford­able and acces­si­ble child­care for all.”

“I wish Kris­tine all the best as she moves on from the state House, and know she will con­tin­ue to be an impor­tant voice for our hard-work­ing families.”

In accor­dance with the Wash­ing­ton State Con­sti­tu­tion, the King and Pierce Coun­ty Coun­cils must appoint a suc­ces­sor to Reeves with­in two months. If they can­not agree, the respon­si­bil­i­ty to make an appoint­ment will pass to Gov­er­nor Inslee.

The new­ly appoint­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tive must be one of three nom­i­nees select­ed by the statu­to­ry Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Cen­tral Com­mit­tee (WSDCC), which con­sists of rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Wash­ing­ton’s thir­ty-nine counties.

The WSD­C­C’s rules del­e­gate the respon­si­bil­i­ty of cre­at­ing the list to the Demo­c­ra­t­ic precinct com­mit­tee offi­cers of the leg­isla­tive dis­trict where the vacan­cy exists, as area PCOs know their dis­trict best. Per those rules, a spe­cial nom­i­nat­ing cau­cus will be called soon by State Par­ty Chair Tina Pod­lodows­ki of the 30th Dis­tric­t’s Demo­c­ra­t­ic PCOs. Once the PCOs have select­ed three indi­vid­u­als who could take Reeves’ place in the House, the list will be sent to the WSDCC for rat­i­fi­ca­tion (a for­mal­i­ty) and then trans­mit­ted to the King and Pierce Coun­ty Councils.

Reeves is the sec­ond mem­ber of the House Demo­c­ra­t­ic cau­cus to resign dur­ing the inter­im; the first was Jeff Mor­ris (D‑40th Dis­trict), who has tak­en a new job. Mor­ris resigned before Thanks­giv­ing. That vacan­cy will be filled using the same pro­ce­dure described above, except that the What­com Coun­ty Coun­cil, the San Juan Coun­ty Com­mis­sion, and the Skag­it Coun­ty Com­mis­sion will be mak­ing the appoint­ment, because the 40th Dis­trict is locat­ed in North­west Washington.

Our team at NPI thanks Kris­tine Reeves for her ser­vice to the peo­ple of the 30th and the State of Wash­ing­ton, and we wish her well in her next adventure.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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2 replies on “Kristine Reeves resigns from the Washington State House… to run for Congress?”

  1. So, no men­tion that she does­n’t live in the con­gres­sion­al dis­trict that she might be run­ning for? Do we just accept car­pet­bag­ging as “ok” nowadays?

    1. Reeves has not said she is run­ning for Con­gress; she’s only hint­ed at it. 

      Regard­less, a per­son does not need to live in the con­gres­sion­al dis­trict they wish to rep­re­sent. Prami­la Jaya­pal was not a res­i­dent of the 7th at the time she ran for (and won) the seat pre­vi­ous­ly held by Jim McDermott. 

      Reeves told The Seat­tle Times ear­li­er this week that she lives just blocks away from the dis­trict line and would look to relo­cate into the dis­trict she is con­tem­plat­ing representing. 

      Reeves, who is mar­ried with two young chil­dren, said that she lives five blocks from the Pierce Coun­ty line.

      “I take very seri­ous­ly that I don’t live in the dis­trict and part of what we are look­ing at right now and explor­ing is where in the dis­trict we could move,” she said. “We’re pre­pared to do that.”

      The terms “car­pet­bag­ging” and “car­pet­bag­ger” are best avoid­ed, as they have racist con­no­ta­tions. Wikipedia:

      In the his­to­ry of the Unit­ed States, car­pet­bag­ger was a deroga­to­ry term applied by for­mer Con­fed­er­ates to any per­son from the North­ern Unit­ed States who came to the South­ern states after the Amer­i­can Civ­il War; they were per­ceived as exploit­ing the local pop­u­lace. The term broad­ly includ­ed both indi­vid­u­als who sought to pro­mote Repub­li­can pol­i­tics (which includ­ed the right of African Amer­i­cans to vote and hold office), and those indi­vid­u­als who saw busi­ness and polit­i­cal oppor­tu­ni­ties because of the chaot­ic state of the local economies fol­low­ing the war.

      “Car­pet­bag­ging” has been more sim­ply defined as “seek­ing polit­i­cal elec­tion in an area where one has no local connections.” 

      Kris­tine Reeves is not a sud­den trans­plant to the region who moved into the area to take advan­tage of an oppor­tu­ni­ty to run for high­er office. 

      She has rep­re­sent­ed neigh­bor­hoods in the 10th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict for three years as a state law­mak­er (the 30th Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict includes sev­er­al Pierce Coun­ty precincts). Before that, she worked for Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray. She has strong ties to South Puget Sound. If she runs for Con­gress in the 10th, she would not be “car­pet­bag­ging”.

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