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Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz announces run for governor

Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands speaks at a Dept. of Natural Resources press conference.
Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources
Hilary Franz, Commissioner of Public Lands announced the carbon project on April 6, 2022 at public event in the Capitol State Forest near Olympia.

SEATTLE, Wa. (AP) — Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz announced her campaign for governor on Wednesday.

“Washington is facing urgent issues – from a rapidly changing climate, to a housing crisis across the entire state, and soaring income inequality pushing families out of the middle class," Franz, a Democrat, said in a statement. "I’m running for Governor to make bold progress and solve these issues, and to do so quickly.”

Franz has spent the last seven years leading the department responsible for millions of acres of public lands in Washington. In a campaign video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, she touted her success in 2021 with securing $500 million from the Washington state Legislature to prevent and fight wildfires.

Franz, 52, served on the Bainbridge Island City Council, Puget Sound Transportation Futures Task Force and other panels before becoming commissioner. She was also the executive director of Futurewise, an environmental advocacy group.

“Growing up, my dad taught me that epic progress happens when you do two things: You work together and you take care of people first,” Franz said in a fundraising email sent Wednesday. “I’m running for governor because with all that’s at stake right now, anything shy of epic won’t cut it."

Franz said she would like to build a comprehensive climate action plan, address rising housing and rent costs, expand good-paying jobs and lower costs for working families.

Gov. Jay Inslee announcedon May 1 that he would not seek a fourth term. At 72, the Democrat is the longest-serving governor in office in the U.S., and is only the second Washington governor to be elected to three consecutive terms.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson launched an exploratory campaign for governorone day after Inslee announced he won’t run again.

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