Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced on Monday that he would not seek re-election.
Kreidler's decision came a year after he faced accusations from former employees who claimed that he used racist slurs and was demeaning towards staff members. The allegations prompted Governor Jay Inslee and bipartisan legislative leaders to call for his resignation.
Kreidler, a Democrat, was first elected as the Insurance Commissioner for Washington state in 2000 and previously served one term in Congress. He sent an email to his staff, saying, "Serving alongside you as Insurance Commissioner for Washington state has been, and continues to be, the greatest honor of my life." Last year, a group of former and potential employees disclosed instances from 2017 to 2022 when Kreidler was demeaning, overly focused on race, used derogatory terms for transgender people, and people of Mexican, Chinese, Italian, or Spanish descent. Some employees of color were also asked for unusual favors. Kreidler's announcement means that the position of Insurance Commissioner for Washington state will be open for the first time in more than two decades.