OLYMPIA — Washington state Sen. Barbara Bailey of Oak Harbor announced her retirement Monday, becoming the second Republican senator in two weeks to unveil their plans to leave the chamber.
First elected to the 10th Legislative District Senate seat in 2012 after five terms in the House, Bailey will step down Sept. 30. In her resignation letter, Bailey, 74, said she wanted to spend more time with her family.
A former chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, Bailey in 2014 successfully sponsored Senate Bill 6523, known as the Real Hope Act. Signed into law, it extended State Need Grant funding to undocumented students in Washington’s public colleges, as well as many private colleges in the state.
In 2015, Bailey successfully sponsored a bill to create a statewide task force on finding ways to reduce campus sexual violence.
“Senator Bailey has been a tireless public servant, dedicated to improving this state and fighting for the people of her district,” said state Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, in a statement announcing the retirement.
Republican officials in the district — which includes Island, Skagit and Snohomish counties — will nominate candidates to replace Bailey. Commissioners from those counties will then pick her successor from those candidates.
Last week, Sen. Hans Zeiger, R-Puyallup, announced his intention to run for a Pierce County Council seat in 2020, rather than the Legislature.