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May 17, 2010 at 1:33 PM

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Ken Jacobsen retiring from Legislature

Posted by Jim Brunner

Longtime Seattle legislator Ken Jacobsen will retire from the state Senate rather than face a potentially tough reelection bid this fall.

Jacobsen has represented North Seattle's 46th Legislative District for 28 years.

He's known for a quirky, nearly stream-of-consciousness style of lawmaking (see this 2007 profile about the 99 bills he sponsored in a two-month stretch.)

In a news release announcing his decision, Jacobsen cited health concerns:

"It has been an honor and privilege to represent the 46th Legislative District for the past 28 years. The job has been wonderful, but at times very stressful. My high blood pressure has forced me to reassess my priorities, especially after it was responsible for a brief stay in the hospital this past October. I'm proud of my work on behalf of veterans, the environment, higher education, holocaust education, gender equity in college sports and helping to solve my constituents' problems.

"This has been the best job of my life, and I'm honored that voters of the 46th Legislative District have supported me for so long. I have strived to serve with dignity, integrity and passion."

Jacobsen also was facing a potentially strong challenge from a fellow Democrat.

David Frockt, an attorney who has sued asbestos companies, had already raised more than $100,000 for his campaign.

UPDATE: 1:40 p.m. Local political site PubliCola is all over this one and says Jacobsen has agreed to endorse Rep. Scott White to replace him. Frockt, meanwhile, could switch to run for White's House seat.

Frokt confirmed in an email he will now run for White's House seat.

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Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.