Rep. Jesse Johnson, courtesy photo

Rep. Jesse Johnson, courtesy photo

Rep. Jesse Johnson announces he is not seeking re-election

Johnson (D-Federal Way) sponsored legislative bills on police reform, use of force.

State Representative Jesse Johnson (D-Federal Way) announced Wednesday (March 9) he is not seeking re-election.

Johnson was appointed as 30th District State Representative in 2020 to fill the position previously held by Kristine Reeves. In Nov. 2020, voters elected Johnson over opponent Jack Walsh, who now sits on the Federal Way City Council.

Johnson said in a news release that he is stepping back to focus on his family.

“As tough a decision as this was, I am at peace because family is what is most important to me and that is what needs my full attention the most right now, especially my 6-month-old baby and my partner. Being able to fully support my family and step away from politics is the right step for us in this season of our lives. I truly believe that it should not always be women taking a back seat in their careers and I have a talented partner in medical school soon to become a doctor. Supporting her while being more present in her and my child’s life is what is needed for our family.”

A Federal Way native, Johnson served on the Federal Way City Council prior to his appointment to the state Legislature.

Johnson said serving the Federal Way community has been “the honor of my life.”

“After serving during a pandemic, unprecedented economic challenges and racial reckoning, I have given my full self to this work to pass policy to help people and bring funding to my district,” Johnson’s new release stated. “I have always wanted to show young people and people of color in my community that you can be in this position and that representation matters.”

His work includes passing police conduct legislation, some of which banned police officers from using chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and restricted the use of tear gas and other military equipment.

Johnson also created the first statewide police de-escalation standard to reduce use of force incidents, which has been met with controversy both before and after the laws went into effect in July 2021.

HB 1310 requires officers to exhaust all available de-escalation tactics when possible prior to using force, including “calling for additional resources such as a crisis intervention team or mental health professional,” according to the bill.

Supporting his alma mater, Johnson also helped create the first pre-apprenticeship program for trade careers at Federal Way High School.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Courtesy Photo, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Judge finds probable cause to hold Kent man for kidnapping girl

Man, 40, reportedly grabbed 6-year-old girl in East Hill apartment complex parking lot

t
King County residential property values rise 12.4% in SE Kent

King County Assessor John Wilson begins to release 2024 numbers

t
Three 11-year-old girls in Kent help stop kidnapping of 6-year-old girl

40-year-old man reportedly grabbed girl in apartment complex parking lot on East Hill

t
Kent Police seek male teen driver in fatal hit-and-run on East Hill | Update

Teen reportedly driving stolen vehicle and fleeing police during Saturday, July 13 incident; victim identified

t
13-year-old boy fatally shot in Kent on East Hill near Turnkey Park | Update

Boy found shot near apartment complex Tuesday night, July 16 identified by medical examiner

t
Kent School Board votes 3-1 to send levy to voters in November

Capital projects and technology levy reduced from $192 million to $97 million after previous failures

t
Kiwanis clubs to place painted rocks at downtown Kent parks

Purpose is to ‘spread joy and positivity’

t
Driver caught on I-5 in Kent using fake passenger in HOV lane

Driver called it a ‘training aid’ after State Patrol trooper pulled her over near South 272nd Street

t
Kent Police seek public’s help to find woman missing since 2009

Release sketch of what Alyssa McLemore might look like today as detectives seek to solve case

Courtesy Image, Sound Transit
Far right lane of southbound I-5 in Kent to close for 2 weeks

July 21 to Aug. 5 between South 259th Street and South 272nd Street for light rail drainage work

t
Kent firefighters extinguish three separate brush fires on West Hill

Fire breaks out early Friday morning, July 12 in wooded area west of Interstate 5