State Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Olympia, says she is considering a run for lieutenant governor in 2016.
Fraser is the third Senate Democrat to express interest in the position, which has been held by fellow Democrat Brad Owen since 1997.
Owen said he hasn’t decided whether he will seek re-election next year. As lieutenant governor, Owen presides over the Senate and fills in as acting governor when Gov. Jay Inslee is out of state or unavailable.
Fraser, who was elected to the state Senate in 1992 after serving four years in the state House, said she “will make a decision sometime soon” about whether she’ll seek Owen’s job.
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“I don’t have a campaign launched or anything. I’m still in an exploratory stage,” Fraser said Tuesday.
Fraser said she already spoke with Owen, who encouraged her to “explore the possibility” of running for the position he has held for 18 years.
Should Fraser enter the race, she will have company. State Sen. Cyrus Habib, D-Kirkland, has already launched a formal campaign for the position, and state Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, told The Herald in Everett that he is interested in running should Owen choose to retire.
University Place City Councilman Javier Figueroa has also filed to run for lieutenant governor as a Republican in 2016.
While earlier this month Owen registered as a candidate with the state Public Disclosure Commission, he said Tuesday that he isn’t sure whether he’ll seek re-election next year. He said he filed paperwork with the PDC because and his wife “are looking at the options.”
“The reason I encouraged others is in case I decide not to run, they need to be ready,” Owen said. “But that decision hasn’t been made absolute, and won’t be made until later.”