U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) announced on Thursday that he will not be seeking re-election in 2024.
The Port Angeles native, who worked in economic development and served in the Washington State Legislature before being elected to represent the 6th Congressional District and the Olympic Peninsula in Congress in 2012, released a statement saying:
“Over most of the past decade, each time I boarded the plane to DC, I would email my kids, Sophie and Aven, to explain to them why I was leaving – and what I’d be working on while we were apart.
Kilmer goes on in his letter to state that over the years in office he had sent letters to his children stating why he would need to be across the country, and as they got older it became harder to be away from his family.
This includes times of political unrest and contention, but in his letters he said that he “tried to communicate to them that every day, in every way, I was trying make things better for their generation – and for their country.
Kilmer said that in a recent letter home, he first told his children that he would not seek re-election next year.
The Representative noted in his announcement many of the projects he had the privilege to be a part of, highlighting the work he was most proud of, but said that as “nourishing” as the job has been, “it has come with profound costs to my family”.
It is still too early to know who will step forward to fill the seat on the election ballot, but it is certain to be a battleground for both parties in the state.