January 8, 2014 | Vol.54 N.2

Rep. Mike Hope not running for re-election

Harmsworth to run for Hope's seat.

State lawmakers are once again headed to Olympia where they will spend the next few months hammering out budgets and making new law. For Rep. Mike Hope, our representative from the 44th District, this will be his last session.

Hope, who lives in Lake Stevens, has served the citizens in his district for the past five years and is excited to complete the last year of his six-year term.

"While I feel I have been useful and have worked hard for the people of my district, I always knew that I would only serve as a citizen legislator for a time, not forever," Hope said. "The time has come for me to move on to other things in my career and in life."

Hope has worked hard to protect children and law enforcement officers during his time in the state legislature.

"I have enjoyed serving my community the past five years. It has been one of the high points of my life. I am especially proud of Eric's Law and the fact that more kids are safer today than they were before I took office," Hope said. "The past few years have also produced some of my saddest moments, as we saw the death of four Lakewood police officers in 2009. I was proud to be a part of Joint Resolution 4220 in 2010 which voters approved by 84 percent margin that will help ensure tragedies like that never happen again."

Mill Creek City councilman Mark Harmsworth announced on Thursday, Dec. 26, that he will be seeking to be elected this fall to fill Hope's seat next year.

Harmsworth feels that legislators need to focus more on building the economy and stop thinking about government priorities.

"The annual cuts to education, increased class sizes and the waste we see in government have to stop," said Harmsworth. "We can fully fund our schools. We can expand health care to those who do not have it without breaking what we already have."

Harmsworth has worked at both Microsoft and Amazon and hopes to bring new ideas from those experiences.

"Why do we keep hearing that we must either cut school funding or increase taxes?" he asked. "Legislators should focus on improving the economy which will increase state revenues and solve the funding problem. Here in Washington, we have always led the world in innovation and ideas. Unfortunately, that spirit of innovation has not found its way into state government."

Harmsworth, his wife Sarah, and their three children live in Mill Creek.  He is a two term City Councilmember, Vice-president of Snohomish Cities and Towns and is on the Board of Directors of the Everett Community College Foundation Board. Harmsworth has recently joined Amazon after a long career with Microsoft.

Hope fully endorses Harmsworth to fill his seat in the 44th District.

"As voters of the 44th district elect the next person to represent them, I would ask they consider Mill Creek City Councilman Mark Harmsworth. I have grown to know and appreciate Mark Harmsworth over the years and I believe he has the heart of community service and shared values that would represent us well in the 44th district," Hope said. "Mark Harmsworth has my whole-hearted endorsement for State Representative, to replace me as I retire."

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