State Rep. Larry Crouse, a Republican from Spokane Valley, will leave the Legislature Dec. 31 because of "family health concerns," according to a press release House Republicans sent out Monday.
Crouse has served in the state House since 1995, making him the longest-serving member of the House Republican Caucus.
According to Monday's announcement, Crouse and his wife have suffered from health problems recently, which caused him to be absent for some of the 2013 legislative session.
Crouse worked for Kaiser Aluminum for about 20 years — 13 of them as a machinist, and nearly seven as a manager. He also sold real estate at one time. Throughout his two decades in the Legislature, he has supported limiting taxes on businesses, earning him endorsements from groups such as the Association of Washington Business and the National Federation of Independent Business.
Crouse's will be leaving a year before his two-year term is set to expire at the end of 2014. State law indicates that for the vacancy to be filled, the Spokane County Republican Party must nominate three candidates, with the Spokane County Board of Commissioners ultimately deciding who among them should replace Crouse.
Here's the text of Monday's press release announcing Crouse will resign:
Rep. Larry Crouse announced today that he will resign from the Washington State House of Representatives on Dec. 31. The 4th District lawmaker cited family health concerns as the reason for stepping down before the end of his two-year term.
“This is the best job I’ve ever had, but it’s time. This decision is about family,” said Crouse, R-Spokane Valley. “I had an opportunity to represent a wonderful district. As I look back, it’s humbling to know thousands of voters put their faith in me. It has been a great honor to serve the people and communities of the Fourth Legislative District.”
Crouse and his wife, Peggy, have endured health issues over the last few years. These ailments forced him to miss time during the 2013 legislative sessions.
“Larry is respected by people of all political persuasions. He is a trusted statesman and a true gentleman – the type of leader we need in today’s political arena,” said House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish. “Larry has been a mentor and close friend to many of us over the years. We all say goodbye with heavy hearts.”
Crouse was first elected to office in 1995 and is the longest-standing Republican member of the Washington State House of Representatives.
“Larry Crouse is a stalwart defender of conservative principles and a mentor to the next generation of warriors in the freedom and liberty movement. He will remain a brother in Christ and be dearly missed,” said Crouse’s seatmate, Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley. “Thank you, Larry, for everything you have done for the State of Washington and the Fourth Legislative District.”
Crouse has lived in the Spokane area since 1974. He and Peggy have two grown daughters.
“Larry has been a statesman and leader in this institution for a long time. It’s been an honor working beside him over the years,” said Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis. “He has represented his constituents well and will be truly missed by everyone.”
Crouse is the assistant ranking Republican on the House Technology and Economic Development Committee. He also sits in the House Environment and Local Government committees. Crouse will continue to assist constituents with their interactions with state government through the end of the year.