Long time Democratic state Senator Adam Kline (D-37) announced today that he will not seek reelection in 2014:

“I’ll miss the action here, the engagement on issues important to the extraordinary people of Southeast Seattle,” he said. But approaching his 70th birthday, he said, it’s time to quit and spend time with his family and to travel.

I know some party insiders like to chatter about Kline being ineffective, but I've always been rather fond of him. I found Kline to be accessible to constituents even back when I was only just another unknown constituent. He was about as reliable a lefty vote as you could find in Olympia. And truth be told, he chaired his Judiciary committee quite effectively (back when Dems still controlled the Senate).

More importantly, Kline was never afraid to speak his mind. He didn't always speak it well, but he spoke it boldly, and that's something we don't have enough of in Olympia. So I'm not cheering his departure.

That said...

Some years back after state Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos cast some votes that really pissed me off, I put some serious thought into challenging her reelection. All the political insiders I met with were very encouraging, but all warned me against challenging Santos. "She's a woman of color," I was cautioned. The identity politics would be nasty and divisive. Instead, my advisors suggested, I should challenge Senator Kline! "Why?" I asked. "Because that's the balding, bearded, ultra-liberal Jewish guy seat?"

Um. Yes, essentially. And I'm a balding, bearded, ultra-liberal Jewish guy. That's my seat!

Honestly, had this seat opened up a couple years ago, I would have jumped at the chance of running. But all the real exciting stuff (paid sick leave, minimum wage, universal preschool) is happening at the local level these days, while Olympia has since proven so dysfunctional that I'd all but given up on it.

Then again, I've always had a penchant for tilting at windmills, and I can't think of a bigger windmill than our awful state senate. So what do you think?