Harper, who is in his first serving Everett and Tulalip, made the announcement shortly after the Senate adjourned its special session. The resignation is effective immediately.
"My three years as Senator are an experience I will never forget. Unfortunately my work in Olympia takes me away from my family far too much," he said in a statement. "They deserve a full-time husband and father just as the people of the 38th deserve a full-time Senator. I feel that I cannot be both at this time."
Harper, 34, is married and has two daughters. Both daughters have been born since his election in 2010.
In his statement, Harper cited his role in helping bring Washington State University to the campus of Everett Community College as one of his top accomplishments.
He arrived in Olympia after unseating an incumbent senator and fellow Democrat, Jean Berkey.
He triumphed in an election tainted by the efforts of an independent political committee to help Harper win.
Moxie Media, a Democratic political consultant, was slapped with a huge penalty for concealing the source of money behind mailers and phone calls attacking Berkey in the final days of the August 2010 primary.
Berkey tried unsuccessfully to get the election results thrown out and a new election held. Some of her friends in the Senate considered trying to block Harper from taking office because of what transpired.
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