He’s suffered from health problems for the last several years, missing many days of session. But the news that state Sen. Bob McCaslin is resigning still comes as something of a surprise.
And because he is one of the few lawmakers who sees the humor in legislative politics, it also comes as something of a disappointment. The Spokane Valley Republican took neither himself nor the Senate all that seriously and could usually be counted on to lighten the mood and ease the tension.
Here’s the announcement from the Senate Republican caucus:
McCaslin to leave state Senate after 30 years of service
OLYMPIA…Sen. Bob McCaslin , R-Spokane Valley, announced today that he will retire immediately from the Washington State Senate due to health concerns raised by his doctors.
“Although I intended to continue my service in the state Senate, developments that occurred last year regarding my health have recently resurfaced, which prompted me to make this decision,” McCaslin said. “I’ve always tried not to let the years slow me down or affect my ability to serve the people of the Fourth District, but as my doctors have made clear to me, that can no longer be the case.”
McCaslin’s retirement comes midway through his eighth term and signals the end of an era for the state Senate and the Spokane Valley, where the Republican lawmaker has been an institution for 30 years.
“I will miss my staff, colleagues and friends over in Olympia,” McCaslin said. “But more importantly, I will miss being able to advocate for the families and taxpayers of this district. These are my neighbors and my friends, and it has been an honor to serve as their voice for these past three decades.”
McCaslin has represented the 4th District since 1981. He worked at Kaiser Aluminum for 18 years and as a real estate agent for 18 years. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1944-46, during the United States’ involvement in World War II, McCaslin attended Washington State University, where he received a degree in sociology in 1950 and did post-graduate work in economics in 1951 and 1952. He has been a resident of the Spokane Valley for more than 55 years.
Although McCaslin has faced various ailments and hospitalizations in recent years, he had hoped to complete the four-year Senate term he began in 2008. But McCaslin, 84, was advised by his doctors on Monday that stepping down at this time would be the best decision for his health.