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State Sen. Mark Mullet enters race for Washington governor

caption: State Sen. Mark Mullet represents Washington's 5th Legislative District.
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State Sen. Mark Mullet represents Washington's 5th Legislative District.
Washington State Legislative Support Services

Washington State Sen. Mark Mullet has entered the race to be Washington's next governor.

"As my kids like to remind me, I'm the only state senator who also delivers pizzas," Mullet says in a video announcing his campaign. "As a small business owner, I know first hand what it means when costs are on the rise and it's hard to meet payroll."

Mullet announced his campaign, Thursday, June 1.

Mullet is a Democrat who represents the state's 5th Legislative District, which includes Maple Valley, Renton, and Black Diamond. He grew up in Tukwila and now lives in Issaquah, where he owns a chain of Zeeks Pizza. He also owns a few Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream shops.

Mullet sets up his campaign priorities in a manner seemingly targeted at middle-ground voters. He pushes the issues of public safety, climate change, LGBTQ rights, banning assault weapons, and protecting unions, while also commenting that taxes are not the solution to every problem. He speaks about making Washington friendly to business while focusing "on the challenges and opportunities of everyday Washingtonians, not the extremes."

"Washington is like no other place," Mullet said. "There's opportunity, diversity, and innovation. But it also desperately needs change. We have to lower costs for families, and that starts with affordable housing, creating more pathways to the middle class by expanding vocational programs, and recognizing a renewable economy creates a strong economy. But the same politicians in Olympia that you see on the news are not going to be any different. They are too entrenched in the same fights, in the same tired solutions. We can't keep trying to tax our way out of every problem. That's why I decided to run for governor."

Before becoming a small business owner, Mullet worked in the international finance department at Bank of America. Before he was elected to state office in 2012, he was a city council member in Issaquah.

Mullet will have competition for the state's top job. After Gov. Jay Inslee announced he would not seek a fourth term earlier this year, Democrats didn't waste any time jumping into the race. Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz are also running.

On the Republican side, Richland School Board member Semi Bird announced his campaign in 2022. More recently, Yakima doctor Raul Garcia started his gubernatorial campaign.

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