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Lt. Gov. Brad Owen announces retirement

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Lt. Governor Brad Owen

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Brad Owen has announced he isn’t running for re-election, telling the Senate that his four decades in state service has been a “rare privilege and a great honor.”

Owen, whose role includes presiding over the chamber as president of the Senate, choked up several times Tuesday during a 20-minute speech in which he talked about his long career with the state. His term ends next January.

A Democrat from Shelton, Owen was elected to the state House in 1976, serving in that chamber until his election to the Senate in 1983. He served in the Senate until he was elected lieutenant governor in 1996, and was re-elected to that office four times.

Several people are running for lieutenant governor this year, including three state senators and a state representative.