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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I’ll get right to it folks. After a lot of thought, prayer and family considerations, I’ve decided not to run again for the Legislature. I will finish out my current term ending in early January 2025.  

It’s been 20 years. Serving the folks in the legendary 7th District has been the honor of a lifetime. And legendary you are.

The 7th District people are well known in Olympia for making the longest drives and showing up in the greatest numbers of any district in the state when critical things were on the line. The best days were when you’all showed up in my office and reminded me why I’m here. There were a lot of nights when I was worn out and battered, wondering why I was here, and I’d dream of faces from back home that gave me the resolve to get up in the morning and jump back in the fray — and jump in hard.

Another blessing was the legendary folks I’ve been lucky enough to serve with — Bob Morton, Bob Sump, Shelly Short, and Jacquelin Maycumber. I can tell you this: We were always a team that put the people of the 7th District first and worked together. That isn’t as common as you’d think in Olympia. I learned a lot from these folks and they always had my back.

I’d also like to thank the family and friends who supported and covered for me back home when I was mired in Olympia for months on end. You all know who you are and I’m deeply grateful.

One of the things I’m proudest of is that over the years my office became known as a place where people of widely differing beliefs could have wide-ranging discussions — and arguments. But we could do it respectfully. And when we found something we could agree on, we did some really good work — some epic things. I’m so grateful for those folks who always showed that respect, and always put good work ahead of the partisan politics. I wish there was more of that, I’m worried for our nation.     

This has been a difficult decision. We got some good things done, but there are some things I’d like to finish. I also think it’s important to know when to leave and, for me, the time is now. There’s this mountain called Bodie that I miss a lot, and family and friends I so look forward to seeing more often in the coming years.

Thank you all for putting up with me all these years, and allowing me to serve the people of the 7th District. It has been an amazing privilege. God bless you all, and God bless America.

With that, I look forward to saddling up and riding off into the sunset …


Joel Kretz

State Representative Joel Kretz, 7th Legislative District
425A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7988 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000