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Updated: May 15

Washington Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz officially declared her candidacy for governor on Wednesday, highlighting urgent issues such as climate change, the housing crisis, and income inequality.

The Democrat aims to address these challenges swiftly and boldly. Having led the department responsible for Washington's vast public lands for the past seven years, Franz emphasized her achievements in securing $500 million from the state Legislature in 2021 to combat wildfires. In a campaign video on YouTube, she stressed her track record and commitment to environmental advocacy.

Franz, 52, boasts a diverse background, having served on the Bainbridge Island City Council, the Puget Sound Transportation Futures Task Force, and other influential panels. She previously held the position of executive director at Futurewise, an environmental advocacy group.

In a fundraising email, Franz expressed the importance of collaboration and prioritizing people's welfare, a philosophy instilled by her father. With high stakes at hand, she believes that only extraordinary progress will suffice.

Franz's campaign promises include developing a comprehensive climate action plan, addressing soaring housing costs, expanding well-paying jobs, and reducing expenses for working families.

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