Washington Congressman Derek Kilmer will not seek re-election in 2024

On Thursday U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer from Washington’s 6th Congressional District announced that he would not seek re-election after being in Congress for the last decade.

“It’s been an extraordinary honor to do this work – not just on behalf of my kids but also on behalf of the nearly 800,000 other folks who reside in Washington’s Sixth Congressional District,” Kilmer said in a news release.

Kilmer, a Port Angeles native, was first elected to Congress in 2012. HIs district includes part of Tacoma, and the entire Olympic Peninsula.

Kilmer served as Chair on the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, and also served on the House Appropriations Committee.

The longtime lawmaker said he was proud of the work he did as Chair for what he referred to as “The Fix Congress Committee.” He also noted that he was honored to serve as a leader in the New Dems during his time in Congress.

“The New Dems are the best kept secret in politics — a group of pragmatic, problem-solving Democrats who chase impact more than headlines,” Kilmer said. “Simply put, they’re focused on getting things done for the American people. Our politics could use more of that.”

Prior to his time as a congressman, Kilmer spent time as both a Washington state Representative and Senator for the 26th Legislative District which includes Bremerton, Port Orchard and Gig Harbor. He was first elected to the state House in 2005, and first elected as a state Senator in 2007.

“As nourishing as this job has been, it has come with profound costs to my family,” Kilmer said in the news release. “Every theatrical performance and musical recital I missed. Every family dinner that I wasn’t there for. The distance I felt from my family for months after the events of January 6th. I am conscious that I didn’t always deliver in the way I wanted; and I hope they will forgive me for that. And I hope they know that I was really trying my best to make the world better for them.”

U.S. Rep. Marilyn Strickland of the 10th District, who shares representation of Pierce County with Kilmer, issued a statement about Kilmer’s decision.

“Congressman Derek Kilmer has faithfully served the Puget Sound for decades, and I am proud to call him a colleague and a dear friend.

“The state of Washington and our nation are stronger and more resilient because of his leadership. Derek has been a champion for federal support of the health and restoration of the Sound, he has been an advocate for our tribal nations, he has consistently supported economic opportunity for all people, and he has been a fierce advocate for our military service-members — particularly those living and stationed in Kitsap County. “