“It shouldn’t always be women taking a back seat in their careers”: Rep. Jesse Johnson announces he will not seek re-election

OLYMPIA – Rep. Jesse Johnson (D-Federal Way) released the following statement announcing his decision to not run for re-election:

“After careful consideration, I have decided to finish out my term through the end of the year and not seek re-election in 2022 so that I may focus on my family. As tough a decision as this was, I am at peace because family is what is most important to me and that is what needs my full attention the most right now, especially my 6-month baby and my partner. Being able to fully support my family and step away from politics is the right step for us in this season of our lives. I truly believe that it should not always be women taking a back seat in their careers and I have a talented partner in medical school soon to become a doctor. Supporting her while being more present in her and my child’s life is what is needed for our family.

“I grew up in the Federal Way community and it has been the honor of my life to serve in this position. I only know one way to serve in elected office, which is to give my 110% and I cannot make that commitment with another term. After serving during a pandemic, unprecedented economic challenges and racial reckoning, I have given my full self to this work to pass policy to help people and bring funding to my district. I have always wanted to show young people and people of color in my community that you can be in this position and that representation matters. Thank you so much to my district for having faith in my public service. I’m not going anywhere and look forward to volunteering my time and staying involved in other capacities.”

Johnson’s career in the Legislature included passing legislation to:

  • Ban harmful police tactics like chokeholds, no-knock warrants and restrict use of tear gas and certain military equipment (HB 1054)
  • Create a first-ever statewide standard on police use of force prioritizing de-escalation and less lethal alternatives to deadly force (HB 1310)
  • Mandate that police and school resource officers must provide youth access to an attorney before questioning them (HB 1140)
  • Expand services for families in crisis like mental health services, suicide prevention and drug treatment (HB 2873)
  • Provide recommendations to schools to improve academic outcomes for unhoused or foster care youth (HB 2711)
  • Develop a high school environmental & sustainability and renewable natural resources curriculum (HB 2811)
  • Create and fund first ever pre-apprenticeship program in the construction trades at Federal Way High School
  • Funding for youth gun violence prevention and economic prosperity