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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Fellow Democrats Challenge Washington Lt. Gov Brad Owen

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Office of the Lieutenant Governor
Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen has hinted that he's thinking about retiring after serving five terms.

Washington Lt. Governor Brad Owen hasn’t announced if he intends to seek a sixth-term next year. But he already faces challenges from two fellow Democrats who are betting he won’t run.

It’s rare in politics for someone from the same party to challenge an incumbent. The tradition is to wait for the incumbent to announce he or she is not running. Then the seat is fair game.

But unwritten rules and tradition have been tossed out when it comes to Washington’s 2016 race for Lt. Governor. Already two Democratic state senators have announced they’ll run: Cyrus Habib from Seattle’s eastside and, now, Karen Fraser from Olympia.

The race has also drawn a Republican candidate, Javier Figueroa, mayor pro tem of University Place near Tacoma.

Incumbent Lt. Governor Owen has registered a 2016 campaign committee. But he’s also hinted that he’s thinking about retirement.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."