Issaquah Development Commissioner Essie Hicks is withdrawing her candidacy for the Washington House of Representatives.
Hicks announced via her campaign website Sunday that she will not challenge Republican incumbent Jay Rodne for his seat in the 5th Legislative District.
“As other Democrats enter the race for Jay Rodne’s seat, I think it makes sense for me to stand down … concentrate on local politics here at home, and the community projects that make our region such a great place to live,” she wrote.
Hicks cited her interest in opposing Tim Eyman’s next initiative and helping Democrats win the U.S. presidency and state and local offices as reasons for stepping down.
But she also referenced a difficult political climate for female candidates.
“The decision to step up [as a woman] in the first place is hard,” Hicks wrote. “Women are criticized for things that men are not. The climate has improved even in the past decade, but we still see a smaller number of women entering politics than men. Fewer than a third of our state legislators are women.”
Hicks’ campaign ended less than three weeks than it began, having been announced Jan. 5.
Hicks previously ran against Rodne in the 2014 state House race, earning more than 42 percent of votes cast that November. Prior to moving to Issaquah, she was a planning commissioner for the city of Maple Valley.
In addition to her position on the Development Commission, Hicks is currently treasurer of the Northwest Progressive Institute, a politically left-leaning think tank.