BOTHELL — Veteran Democratic state Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe of Bothell announced Wednesday she will not seek re-election this year.
McAuliffe won her Senate seat in the 1st Legislative District in 1992 and was re-elected five times. She had hired a campaign manager and treasurer in anticipation of another run this year.
But Wednesday morning she said she realized she wanted to spend time with family and traveling rather than dialing donors for dollars.
“I started to look around and see if I had it in me and I just didn’t have it in me to do it,” she said. “All of a sudden I just knew it was time.”
McAuliffe intends to serve the remaining year of her term representing the communities of Bothell, Mountlake Terrace and Maltby.
Two Democrats, Rep. Luis Moscoso of Bothell and Guy Palumbo who challenged McAuliffe in 2012, are reportedly interested in her seat. McAuliffe said she’ll wait to see who files before deciding whether to endorse in the race.
Republican Ed Barton of Bothell is also seeking the seat.
McAuliffe served 14 years on the board of the Northshore School District before running for state office.
As a senator she focused on education policy and served as chairwoman of the Senate education committee when Democrats last held the majority.
She helped the University of Washington Bothell and Cascadia Community College campuses set root in the community and backed creation of the Guaranteed Education Tuition program, better known as GET, to make college more accessible to families.
Her fingerprints are on many of the Democratic-inspired education policy bills of the past two decades. And she’s been a consistent and persistent voice for the agenda of the Washington Education Association, which is the statewide union of public school teachers.
She said her decision had nothing do with the tough decisions lawmakers must make in 2017 in order to comply with school funding mandates in the McCleary case. Some of those decisions will affect teachers directly.
“No, not at all,” she said. “I did what I wanted to do. I think it’s time to come home and do something local.”
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623;