Gov. Jay Inslee's lobbyist leaving

Staff writerMay 8, 2014 

Then-Gov. Chris Gregoire approaches then-Ecology Department Director Ted Sturdevant before giving him a hug during her farewell visit to the department's staff in Lacey December 17, 2012.


An advisor to Gov. Jay Inslee and Inslee's liaison to the Legislature, Ted Sturdevant, will step down at the end of June.

He told lawmakers he needed "a different pace and a different work-life balance."

Under Gov. Chris Gregoire, Sturdevant was the director of the Department of Ecology. He became legislative affairs and policy director to Inslee.

In both administrations, he has been heavily involved in the prolonged development of new water quality rules based on how much fish people eat.

There's no word yet on a new legislative director. Inslee has hired Matt Steuerwalt as his policy director, a former Gregoire advisor and lobbyist for coal-fired power plant operator TransAlta. 

Here's the letter Sturdevant wrote to lawmakers:

Dear legislators, I want to let you know that I’ve made the difficult decision to leave the Governor’s Office, effective June 30. You, more than most, understand how demanding these jobs are, and I’ve decided it’s time for a different pace and a different work-life balance. I know I’ll take the summer to catch up with family, friends and life in general. After that, we’ll see. But I hope we cross paths again as we work in our different ways for this wonderful state. I am a wholehearted supporter of Gov. Inslee’s values and vision for Washington, and I’m sure I’ll find a new way to contribute to realizing that vision. I leave knowing the Governor’s Policy Office is in good hands. We have developed a terrific group of policy advisors, and I am thrilled that Matt Steuerwalt has recently joined the team as Policy Director. Matt has the integrity, experience and talent to lead that strong team. As we bring on a new legislative director in the coming weeks to work with you all, the Governor will have a great team to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead. On a personal note, I first volunteered for a local campaign in Oregon almost 35 years ago, and I took my first job with the Oregon Legislature just shy of 30 years ago. I have seen such change in that time, and most of it has made the job of being an elected official more difficult. The pace, the money, the shrinking media, the permanent campaign, the lack of privacy, public disclosure (oh that’s right, you don’t have that!) – if it weren’t for the enormous salaries you earn (that’s right, you don’t have those either!), I don’t know how you do it. I have an enormous amount of respect for those of you who are willing to surmount those obstacles and make the sacrifices required to serve the state as elected leaders. I have even more respect for those of you who do the hard and risky work of balancing the necessities of partisanship with the opportunities found in collaboration and compromise. So many sustainable solutions are available when we choose that path.

Thanks for all you do for this state and the people and values you represent. It’s been a real honor to work with you.

All the best, Ted



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