Rep. Gina Mosbrucker won’t seek sixth term in state Legislature | Local

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker won’t seek sixth term in state Legislature | Local
Rep. Gina Mosbrucker won’t seek sixth term in state Legislature | Local

Gina Mosbrucker said Wednesday she will not seek re-election to a sixth term in the state House of Representatives.

The Goldendale Republican will complete its current term, which ends in January, according to a news release. Mosbrucker was first elected to the 14th District in 2014 and served five two-year terms.

Mosbrucker wants to spend more time at home with her family and her businesses in Goldendale and pursue other life goals in the next few years. Those goals include earning her master’s degree, building her dream home, continuing to serve the community and staying “healthy and happy,” according to a news release.

A new legislative map approved by a federal judge in March fits into her decision. The map will reshape voting districts across Central Washington. Mosbrucker would need to run in the new 17th District, as opposed to the 14th District.

“It’s bittersweet, of course. God called me to the Capitol and now God’s calling me home,” Mosbrucker said in a phone interview.

She considers stepping back from the Legislature “a pause in politics,” Mosbrucker said. “I think I’ll be back to serve at the state or national level at some point.”

She is “grateful for every single vote,” Mosbrucker said, and appreciates those “who put their faith in me to do this job and be their voice in Olympia.”

During his time as a representative, Mosbrucker worked across party lines to achieve significant legislative gains, the news release said. In her tenure, she prime-sponsored and co-sponsored more than 50 bipartisan bills that became law, an achievement even more remarkable given her status as a minority Republican in a Legislature long held by Democrats, she said.

“It’s about not caring about the party but caring about the politics,” Mosbrucker said. “You’re just really here to truly fix things for your community and your district.”

Among Mosbrucker’s most prominent bills were those concerning the generations-long epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and people. Her first bill concerning the crisis, in 2018, required the Washington State Patrol to work with tribal and local law enforcement, urban Indian organizations and the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs to study ways to increase state resources for reporting and identifying missing Indigenous women in the state.

The effort was the first of its kind in the nation. State Patrol now maintains a publicly accessible list of Indigenous people who are missing in Washington, issues Missing Indigenous Person Alerts and has two tribal liaison positions who work directly with relatives, advocates and tribes.

Mosbrucker worked with Earth-Feather Sovereign, a citizen of the Confederated Tribes Of the Colville Reservation, on drafting the bill after Sovereign came into her office to talk to her about the crisis.

“I had seen a demonstration in the rotunda, and then (the movie) ‘Wind River,’ of course,” Mosbrucker said. “A few things led to that and I couldn’t let it go. You’ve got to act on it.”

Other legislation

Her first term began with her “YesVets” bill in 2015, which has supported employment for thousands of Washington veterans.

His Travis Alert Act — named after Travis King, a young boy with autism — has helped first responders identify people with special needs during emergency calls. Mosbrucker also spoke of her legislative efforts concerning domestic violence and sexual assault reform kit.

“Domestic violence was definitely a priority throughout my career… to make a difference in that world,” she said. That included working with other Yakima Valley legislators to secure $8.7 million for the YWCA of Yakima to triple its emergency shelter capacity. She also supported a domestic violence shelter, named Gina’s Place, in Klickitat County.

Mosbrucker also worked since 2015 to co-sponsor bills focused on eliminating the state’s sexual assault kit backlog. “That’s been a long journey. Rep. Tina Orwall and I co-sponsored all that work, to get that to zero, to right that wrong,” she said.

She’s also proud of her work on the electric grid reliability bill, which she first sponsored in 2022. Gov. Jay Inslee vetoed it in March 2022, after it passed the House and Senate unanimously. Mosbrucker sponsored it again in 2023 and the governor signed it in May. The bill ensures the state will continually address plans to help avoid energy blackouts, brownouts, or other inadequacies of the electric grid.

“That was a huge win. That was making sure that we pay attention to the grid. It’s fine to find alternative emergency sources, but they can’t be intermittent ones,” she said. “It’s really rewarding to have him not veto it the second time.”

Recently Mosbrucker’s anti-fentanyl legislative efforts included Ivan’s Law, named in honor of Ivan Howtopat, a young Indigenous man who died by suicide in the Klickitat County jail during fentanyl withdrawal.

The entire Yakama Nation Tribal Council attended the governor’s signing of that bill into law, the news release said.

What’s next

For now it’s time for bucket list goals and being there for her family. She’s grateful for her parents and is looking forward to spending more time with them, with her daughters and her seven “grand angels,” as she calls her grandchildren.

“I got to go to two T-ball games recently,” she added.

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