State Rep. Joyce McDonald, R-Puyallup, says she won’t seek reelection to the Legislature in 2018, likely marking the end of her long career in elected office at the Capitol and the Pierce County Council.
In a phone interview with The News Tribune on Tuesday, McDonald said she has no plans to run for other offices once her legislative term expires but said she will “probably stay involved politically.”
McDonald said she is retiring to spend more time with her husband. While she said she enjoyed recent legislative sessions at the Capitol, McDonald said, “They take their toll.”
“I think it’s just a matter of time and to let some other people come in and step up and represent the district,” she said.
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McDonald is currently in her third stint at the Legislature. She previously served five terms in the state House — from 1997 to 2001 and from 2003 to 2009. After two four-year terms on the Pierce County Council, McDonald ran successfully for the Legislature once more in 2016.
In her current term at the Capitol, McDonald served as the Assistant Floor Leader for minority Republicans and the top Republican on the House State Government, Elections and Information Technology Committee.
McDonald counted her position in House GOP leadership as a victory and said the failure of a push by some Democrats to implement a new tax on carbon emissions and capital gains was a success for her party.
This year’s 60-day legislative session ended last week.
In her previous time at the Legislature, McDonald passed a trailblazing ban on texting while driving. The law garnered national attention at the time.
Stambaugh and McDonald both represent the 25th Legislative District, which includes Fife, Midland, Puyallup, South Hill and part of Parkland.
Democrats are sure to eye the district in 2018, hoping to flip the seats from red to blue. But Republicans have had a vice grip on the area for a few years. McDonald won her seat in 2016 by a 12-point margin.
McDonald was born and raised in Scotland but immigrated to the United States in 1973 after marrying her husband Gary. She is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
“I’ve just been honored to be able to represent the people in Pierce County for now 20 years,” McDonald said Tuesday.