State Sen. Erik Poulsen, D-West Seattle, is leaving the Legislature to go to work for the industry group representing the state's 28 public power and water utilities.
Poulsen is an evironmentalist who helped hammer out an unlikely water-rights truce two sessions ago with Eastern Washington farm- and ranch interests. He fought hard earlier this year to convince his fellow lawmakers to curtail a planned expansion of a sand- and gravel mine on Puget Sound's Maury Island. After legislative brinkmanship between the House and Senate, Poulsen's proposal died late in the session. His name had been floated as a potential Democratic candidate to run against Republican Doug Sutherland, the state Lands Commissioner. Former congressional candidate Peter Goldmark, also a Democrat, has since announced that he'll challenge Sutherland next year.