Longtime House Republican Rep. Richard DeBolt will retire from office at end of his term
The longest-serving member of the House Republican Caucus announced he will not seek re-election and will retire from his office as a 20th District legislator at the end of his term next January. John Sattgast reports from the state Capitol.
SATTGAST: Since 1996, Chehalis Republican Representative Richard DeBolt has been a force at the Capitol. Coming to Olympia when House Republicans were in the majority, serving when the House was split into a rare tie with 49 Republicans and 49 Democrats. And then elevated to House Republican Minority Leader in 2004 and again from 2006 until 2013. His colleagues say few people have as much institutional knowledge at the Capitol as Richard DeBolt.
But the Southwest Washington lawmaker says the expensive shoes he purchased when first elected to office could no longer be repaired. They're worn out. He told his fellow lawmakers on the House floor Thursday, it was a sign to him.
DeBOLT: “It was at that moment, I knew that I was, it was time for me to retire. And it's that simple, little gesture that kinda tells you it's time to go.”
SATTGAST: DeBolt's 20th District seatmate and longtime friend is Representative Ed Orcutt…
ORCUTT: “You know, I just want to say thank you to him for everything he's done for me – helping me – really for, you know, reminding us how important the institution is, the Legislature itself, and maintaining the integrity of that.”
SATTGAST: House Republican Leader Representative J.T. Wilcox says DeBolt has served his district and his community with honor and distinction…
WILCOX: “I think what I've learned the most about Richard is he really cares about people. And his heart is so huge.”
SATTGAST: And the feeling from his colleagues?
ORCUTT: “You know, with 24 years of service in, I, I understand a desire to go and do something different. But, you know, he's really going to be missed.”
SATTGAST: As ranking Republican on the House Capital Budget Committee, DeBolt will continue fighting for his district this session. But in January, it'll be time for some new shoes in the House.
John Sattgast, Olympia.
###Washington State House Republican Communications
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