After a decade in Olympia, state Rep. Lynn Schindler, R-Otis Orchards, says she's decided not to run for re-election this fall.
"Ten years is a long time," said Schindler, 63.
She and her husband are building a new home in Liberty Lake, she said, and would like to travel and connect with their 10 children and grandchildren spread across the country.
Her departure will cost outnumbered House Republicans one of their most outspoken members. For years, Schindler has been a staple of late-night House debates, rising frequently to argue against Democratic bills she had no hope of stopping.
"I at least brought my philosophy and the philosophy of the fourth district to the table," she said. She said the fact that Republicans are outnumbered nearly two to one by Democrats in the statehouse wasn't a big factor in her decision.
Her departure leaves a very rare open seat in the district, a slice of Spokane County which includes Millwood, Trentwood, Liberty Lake and northern communities to the Pend Oreille County line. The district's two other lawmakers have also been in office for years. Rep. Larry Crouse is serving his seventh term; Sen. Bob McCaslin has been in office since 1980. Both are Republicans.
Schindler's departure comes at a time when Democrats -- buoyed by winning two longtime Republican seats in the nearby 6th Legislative District in 2006 -- are trying to win more. Schindler said she's not worried. She won nearly two-to-one over Democrat Ed Foote in 2006, and Crouse ran unopposed.
"I think they (voters) are telling us that what we're doing is right," she said.