Rep. Norm Johnson, Republican incumbent in the 14th District, speaks during the Perry Technical Institute graduation in Yakima, Wash. on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. (SHAWN GUST/Yakima Herald-Republic)

YAKIMA, Wash. — After more than 35 years in elected offices, 14th Legislative District Rep. Norm Johnson announced Friday that he’s retiring.

“I’ve enjoyed working for the people of my district,” the 79-year-old Yakima Republican said. “But my kids live elsewhere and I’d like to travel while my health is still good.”

Over the years, Johnson served on Mabton’s town council, the Toppenish City Council, the Yakima City Council and 10 years in the Legislature. In his private life, Johnson worked as a teacher, school counselor and principal.

While in the Legislature, Johnson cosponsored a bill to establish the Washington State University medical school and helped to find money for capital projects, such as the Maryhill Museum exterior and the Toppenish Veteran’s Center, which opens May 21.

“I have no regrets,” he said. “I have worked hard for the people.”

Legislative District 14 includes all of Klickitat and Skamania counties and parts of Yakima and Clark counties.

Two people have declared their intent to run for Johnson’s seat: Republican Garth McKinney, 25, vice president of Maher Property Management in Yakima, and Democrat Sasha Bentley, 30, a White Salmon consultant.

The official filing period is May 14 through 18. Election Day is Nov. 6.


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