Jim Hargrove retires from Washington Legislature after more than three decades on the job. The Hoquiam Democrat, known for supporting some of the state’s most vulnerable residents, gave his fellow senators bibles as parting gifts.
OLYMPIA — Jim Hargrove, a long-serving state senator from Hoquiam, is leaving the Legislature.
The Democrat announced his retirement from the floor of the Senate on Thursday. Hargrove, 62, served in the Legislature for more than 30 years. He has been a member of the upper chamber since 1993 and had previously served in the state House.
Hargrove, who gave his fellow senators bibles as parting gifts, become emotional when addressing his colleagues. Gov. Jay Inslee came to the Senate to speak of Hargrove’s service and many state senators praised him, some citing passages from the bibles he had given them.
Other lawmakers who have announced that this session will be their last include Sen. Don Benton, R-Vancouver, Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Olympia, and Sen. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup. Fraser is running for lieutenant governor and Dammeier has said he will run for Pierce County executive.
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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, a former Democratic leader in the state Senate, issued a statement noting Hargrove’s efforts to “speak for those who too often are ignored or forgotten in our community.” Murray credited Hargrove with helping thousands across the state with work to expand access to early-childhood education, support victims of domestic violence and combat a “fraying” social-services safety net.