After 14 years in Olympia, which follows a long history of serving in Richland City Government, 8th District Rep Larry Haler has announced he will not be seeking re-election.

Haler called it the "privilege of a lifetime" serving the district, but felt it was time to step down. He emphasized he will not resign prior to the end of his term, at the end of the year.

The 8th District, along with other areas of Southeastern Washington, have been staunchly GOP and conservative in nature over the years.

His departure will create a very interesting position for the Republican Party, as it will be difficult to replace a legislator who for the most part, easily cruised through his re-election cycles, usually crushing Democrat opponents who ran against him.

He was considered a slightly moderate Republican, also a very effective legislator who like others from our region, worked to support Hanford and workers at the site among other issues.

Some say it will create a power vacuum, not unlike when Doc Hastings retired from Congress a few years ago. That created an interesting race between Dan Newhouse and Clint Didier, who ran against each other twice--first to finish out Hasting's term, then to see who would hold the seat thereafter.