Sturdevant is Legislative Affairs and Policy Director for Inslee which makes him the first-term governor's chief liaison with lawmakers. He is also deeply involved in some controversial policies, most notably the development of new water quality rules based on a revised fish consumption standard.
Sturdevant shared his decision in a letter to lawmakers.
“You, more than most, understand how demanding these jobs are, and I've decided it's time for a different pace and a different work-life balance,” he wrote.
Sturdevant, who served as director of Department of Ecology under former Gov. Chris Gregoire, began his career in politics and public service in Oregon 35 years ago.
“I have seen such change in that time, and most of it has made the job of being an elected official more difficult. The pace, the money, the shrinking media, the permanent campaign, the lack of privacy, public disclosure (oh that's right, you don't have that!) - if it weren't for the enormous salaries you earn (that's right, you don't have those either!), I don't know how you do it. I have an enormous amount of respect for those of you who are willing to surmount those obstacles and make the sacrifices required to serve the state as elected leaders. I have even more respect for those of you who do the hard and risky work of balancing the necessities of partisanship with the opportunities found in collaboration and compromise. So many sustainable solutions are available when we choose that path.”
He didn’t mention a new job to which he’ll be heading. He did endorse the governor’s agenda and hinted he might help advance it from a different direction.
“I am a wholehearted supporter of Gov. Inslee's values and vision for Washington, and I'm sure I'll find a new way to contribute to realizing that vision,” he wrote.
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