Rep. Richard DeBolt steps down as House Republican Leader due to health concerns

April 17, 2013CONTACT: John Handy, Communications Director – (360) 786-5758

Rep. Richard DeBolt steps down as House Republican Leader due to health concerns

20th District lawmaker plans to finish two-year term
Rep. Richard DeBolt has stepped down as House Republican Leader due to health concerns. He plans to finish his two-year term in the Washington State House of Representatives.

The 20th District lawmaker notified his staff and fellow Republicans this morning, and shared the information in a speech on the floor of the Washington State House of Representative shortly thereafter.

Late Wednesday night on April 10, DeBolt had a medical emergency at his home. Since then, he has been under the care of doctors who have been running a series of tests. Final test results are expected later this week.

“After talking with my wife, father and doctor, this is the right decision,” said DeBolt, R-Chehalis. “It will be hard leaving a job I love and have done for so long, but there comes a time that you must change your priorities in life. I really appreciate the love and support my colleagues have shown me. It speaks volumes about them and their compassion.”

DeBolt experienced similar health problems two years ago, and has battled separate ailments over the last decade.

“Two years ago, my doctor recommended that I step down from my position as leader. I didn't take that advice and should have,” said DeBolt. “Sometimes people take their health for granted and feel invincible, but then they are confronted with reality. That's where I find myself today.”

DeBolt was first elected in 1996 and has served in different leadership roles – including deputy leader and House floor leader.

“It has been a privilege to fight for families across this state in the Legislature, but now I get to focus on my own,” said DeBolt. “Tomorrow is my son's sixteenth birthday and I can't wait to celebrate with him. And the goal is to celebrate many more with him.”

Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, will be acting House Republican Leader until a formal caucus reorganization takes place.


Washington State House Republican Communications