Washington state District 17 senator announces retirement after 10 years


On March 6, Washington 17th District Sen. Lynda Wilson announced she was not seeking another term after 10 years in the state Legislature.

Wilson was elected in 2016 after one term in the House of Representatives. She was reelected for a second term in 2020.

“It’s been such an honor to serve the people of our beloved state, particularly my neighbors in southwest Washington, but I am looking forward to having more time to be a mother, grandmother and small business owner, as I was a decade ago,” Wilson said in a news release.

Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer as a legislator and underwent cancer treatment during a 2019 legislative session. She presented a breast cancer screening bill that passed in 2023. During her tenure, Wilson secured millions in funding for cancer research and support services, according to the news release. Wilson will soon be cancer-free for five years, according to the news release.

As an advocate for tax relief, Wilson’s efforts led to the 2020 repeal of sales tax for feminine hygiene products, according to the release. Wilson worked in the Legislature to improve public safety, which led to the Tiffany Hill Act, a law aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence from their abusers.

Wilson plans to meet with 17th district residents following the conclusion of Washington’s legislative session, which ended on March 7. Wilson aims to raise awareness about three voter initiatives not passed during the session that will go before the public for a vote on the November general election ballot, according to the news release.

“My experience as a legislator has been fulfilling, educational, trying and humbling, all at the same time,” Wilson said in the release. “But I’m not done. I’ve made this decision but will keep going full-tilt until it’s time to hand off to someone else … and you never know after that.”

Wilson’s “One Pill Kills” legislation, Senate Bill 5906, passed the Senate and House during this last session, according to the release. Wilson hopes the bill, which aims to deal with the ongoing fentanyl crisis, will reach the governor’s desk.

Lt. Gov. Denny Heck congratulated Wilson on her retirement in a news release. 

“She has been a principled conservative and has maintained the capacity to work across party lines,” Heck said. “ I was privileged to work with her at a small credit union in Vancouver 45 years ago, and I have been equally privileged to work together again the last four years. She bravely fought and defeated cancer while continuing to serve, an inspiration to all. I wish her well on her retirement.”