18-term congressman to retire

Sequim Gazette staff

U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash, will not run for re-election in the fall.


Dicks, an 18-term representative of Washington’s 6th Congressional district, announced his retirement March 2.


So far two Republicans and one Democrat have announced their intention to run for election to replace the congressman.


Jesse Young, a Gig Harbor business technology consultant, and Doug Cloud, a Tacoma lawyer, both intend to run as Republicans. Young ran unsuccessfully for Dicks’ congressional seat in 2010 and Cloud lost to Dicks in the last four elections.


The sole Democratic contender so far is Port Angeles native Derek Kilmer, a state senator in the 26th Legislative District.


Kilmer announced his intention to run March 5 in a formal statement. Kilmer said Dicks may be the best congressman in Washington state history and he would continue Dicks’ legacy of fighting for jobs and standing up for the little guy.


In a statement Dicks said he has enjoyed every day and made many friends while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives.


“I am proud that many of these friendships have crossed the ideological and party lines that tend to separate us and I have always believed that we can achieve greater results if we leave politics aside when the election season and the floor debates are over,” he said.


Dicks said he is proud of the work accomplished during his 30-plus years in Congress.


Among his pet projects were restoration and improvements in downtown Tacoma and Bremerton, the Elwha River restoration and dam removals and supporting Boeing programs.


State Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, said Dicks’ retirement leaves big shoes to fill.


“He has been a hardworking and tireless advocate for family wage jobs, a healthy environment and critical infrastructure projects that keep our economy moving,” Van De Wege said. “Our communities have been well-served by his leadership, his constituents have appreciated his ongoing accessibility and I have personally been very proud to have him as my representative in our nation’s capital.”


Van De Wege said he does not intend to run for Dicks’ position.


Dicks, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, said he will work hard over the next several months to conduct the committee’s hearings and complete work on all of the fiscal year 2013 appropriations bills.


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