Congressman Denny Heck, the Democrat who has represented Washington’s 10th Congressional District for the last six years, announced Wednesday he will not seek re-election in the United States House of Representatives.
Heck is currently serving his fourth term as representative of the 10th District with his seat up for grabs in November 2020. The 10th District includes Thurston County and portions of Pierce and Mason counties.
The congressman made the announcement of his retirement through a Wednesday morning press release. In it, Heck described coming to the conclusion over Thanksgiving, wanting to spend the remaining time he has with his family, and the personal taxation he’s felt over recent battles between the Democrat-controlled U.S. House and the Trump Administration.
“I make this decision completely confident that there will be outstanding people step forward to take up the challenge to represent this beautiful corner of our great land,” Heck wrote. “I promise to ‘run through the tape’ until the end of my term and continue to work hard and give it my best.”
In a news release from the Governor’s Office, Gov. Jay Inslee wrote that he wished Heck well after hearing of his departure and briefly speaking to him.
“No matter what he does next, one thing is for sure — the Congressional Record will be shorter without him,” Inslee said in a statement. “I wish Denny the very best in his retirement and hope he has the opportunity to spend more time in the real Washington, enjoying the people and places he’s fought so hard for in Thurston, Pierce and Mason Counties.”
This year, during the 116th Congress, Heck was assigned to three committees; the Committee on Financial Services, the Committee on Intelligence and the Joint Economic Committee, according to Ballotpedia.
Heck is a Washington native who attended the Evergreen State College in 1973, according to a short biography that was attached to his announcement.
Shortly after graduation, Heck was elected to the first of five terms in Washington state’s House of Representatives, which would kickoff his 40 years of intermittent public services. He served the state’s 17th Legislative district and was later elected minority floor leader and majority leader in the 1980s.
From 1993 to 2003, Heck served as CEO and co-founder of TVW, the state’s sole public affairs network.
Heck’s national congressional career started in 2010 with a failed run against Jaime Herrera Beutler for Washington’s 3rd Congressional District. With the reformation of a new 10th Congressional District following the 2010 U.S. Census, Heck was elected in 2012 to his current seat.
From the get-go, Heck was engrossed in fiscal congressional matters through his first-term appointment to the Financial Services Committee and later by being the lead House Democrat on the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.
Heck was also apart of multiple housing initiatives and task forces. Most notably, on a local level, Heck was the prime sponsor of the piece of legislation that renamed the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.
As of recent, the congressman has been one of only a few number of public officials to engage in both the closed-door testimony and public House Impeachment Inquiry, which is looking into potential violations or breach of conduct by President Donald Trump.
Heck also gave details on how the hours spent on the House’s Committee on Intelligence the last few years, looking into Russian election interference and the Impeachment Inquiry, saying that the proceedings have “rendered my soul weary.”
Since its inception, the 10th district has been a relatively safe bet for the Democrats. Except for in 2014, Heck has garnered at least 55 percent of the vote in every general election since taking office back in 2012.