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Washington Democratic Party Chair Podlodowski stepping down

A woman with short gray hair wearing a "Washington Democrats" scarf speaks into a microphone on a sidewalk where protesters hold signs, one of which is shaped like a Starbucks cup and read "Third Party Howards Equals Trump Again!"
Ted S. Warren
Tina Podlodowski, chairwoman of the Washington state Democratic Party, speaks during a protest outside a book-promotion event held by former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, in Seattle. Schultz faced a rocky reception after announcing he was considering an independent presidential bid in 2020.

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski is leaving the role after six years.

Podlodowski departs after state Democrats in the November midterms maintained their majorities in the state Legislature, won the secretary of state’s office, and scored a somewhat unexpected win in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, The Seattle Times reported.

Podlodowski in a statement Wednesday said she’d delivered on a pledge to get more Democrats elected.

“This was not an easy decision, but I feel strongly that I have accomplished what I set out to do and it is now time to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders ready to light the fires of democracy, teamwork and community around our state,” Podlodowski said.

She explained her accomplishments including expanding the Democrats’ legislative majorities and increasing diversity of the party’s candidates.

Democrats hold every statewide elected office and flipped both the 3rd and 8th congressional districts during her tenure.

The state Democrats will elect a new leader at a meeting in Olympia in late January.

Podlodowski was elected chair in 2017, following Jaxon Ravens. She lost a bid in 2016 for secretary of state.

She was also the first woman elected party chair in over 30 years, according to her emailed statement. She's a former Microsoft executive and Seattle City Council member.

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