It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that I hereby resign from my position as Representative for the Second District, effective today, February 2, 2016. Over the past week, substantial media attention has been devoted to inconsistencies in the records of my military service. In response to these questions, I have exerted my best effort in trying to compile a complete set of my military personnel files, which memorializes my service history. I have worked to identify and explain any remaining confusion to the best of my ability.
Public service brings with it media attention and public scrutiny. I understood this when I first ran for office, just as I understand the importance of being completely transparent with my constituents. I have always been open and forthright with the good people of the Second District who elected me, in an effort to affirm their faith and trust in our elected officials. It has become abundantly clear to me that I have much to improve upon in communicating more clearly, and understanding how my comments are received by others. None of us are without flaws, shortcomings, or mistakes. I take full responsibility for any errors I have made, and I fully accept the obligation to address them responsibly.
As I have stated before, I have nothing to conceal, nor have I ever deliberately conducted myself in a manner that compromises my integrity or the integrity of this office. However, the recent speculation of impropriety has taken its toll on my family, my colleagues, and the community. The people of the Second District of Washington deserve a full-time representative who can zealously advocate for their objectives without distraction. Under the current circumstances, I no longer feel that I can meet these expectations. Therefore, it is in the best interests of the people of Washington that I relinquish my seat. I apologize to all of those who have been affected by this situation.
The journey I have shared with the citizens of my district, as their representative, has been a distinct honor for which I am forever grateful. I hope that the people of this state can forgive me for my imperfections, just as I have forgiven those who have attacked me for my imperfections. The citizens of Washington have much to look forward to, as I am confident that my successor will embrace the traditional conservative principals so deeply engrained in the people of the Second District. Together, we will continue to stand for liberty, morality, the preservation of the Second Amendment, veterans’ affairs, the careful stewardship of your tax dollars and commonsense solutions to our state’s challenges.
It has been, and always will be a privilege to have represented the people of Washington, and to have served my country in the armed forces. I deeply appreciate those who have supported my family and me through these difficult times, and hope that they extend the same level of dedicated support to my successor. I look forward to working with my successor in his or her transition into office, and watching the next chapter of Washington politics as it unfolds.