On Friday morning, Sen. Guy Palumbo (D-Maltby) told colleagues he's resigning before the last year of his term to return to the private sector. Palumbo defeated Republican Mindie Wirth to win his seat in 2016.
The party organizations in the 1st Legislative District, which spans King and Snohomish counties, will nominate three people to both county councils for approval. The councils will pick one of those choices to fill out the term.
In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig said: "We will miss him in the Senate but definitely understand his reasons for leaving as the job of being a legislator can be difficult to mesh with the realities of families and other professional work."
Seattle Sen. Reuven Carlyle wrote a nice Facebook post for the occasion. "The personal, professional and financial challenges of serving our constituents in our part-time citizen legislature are increasingly difficult," he wrote.
"I am proud of what was accomplished during my time in the legislature," Palumbo said in a statement, mentioning clean energy bills and the Long-Term Health Care Act. "It was an honor to serve my community and to serve with my colleagues in the Senate and House."
In the last session, Palumbo clashed with his fellow Democrats on using levy money to fund charter schools, imperiling a bill that would raise levy caps on districts. He was "open" to voting for a capital gains tax in return for funding a transportation project in his district, but did not champion the move to make Washington's tax code less regressive. May the precinct committee officers of the 1st Legislative District find somebody in Maltby who wants to pass progressive taxes and not undercut the public education system.
I have been told by staff he is not taking a job with a charter school. When I asked if Palumbo was going to work for Microsoft "on some education thing," I was told I was "getting warmer."
Update: It's Amazon. He's resigning his senate seat a year early to be a public policy director (aka a lobbyist) for Amazon, according to senate staff, who confirmed info in a tweet from Jerry Cornfield at the Everett Herald:
Breaking: Democratic @SenatorPalumbo is resigning today to become director of public policy for @amazon Stay tuned for updates throughout the morning. #waleg #waelex
— Jerry Cornfield (@dospueblos) May 24, 2019
The Seattle Times has the statement from Amazon: “We look forward to welcoming Guy Palumbo back to Amazon to lead our local advocacy work to help keep Washington a great place to live, invest, innovate, and create quality jobs for people from all backgrounds."