Republican Maureen Walsh will seek the seat being vacated by retiring state Sen. Mike Hewitt of Walla Walla.
Walsh, a state representative from College Place, made the announcement this week. She has been in the House for 12 years. She is chairwoman of the Early Learning and Human Services Committee and co-sponsored legislation that established the state Department of Early Learning.
The Senate seat covers the 16th Legislative District. Outside of Walla Walla County, the district includes Prosser, Benton City, Finley and Dayton.
Hewitt, who has served in the Senate for 16 years, announced earlier this year that he wouldn’t seek re-election.
He served as the Senate’s leading Republican from 2005-12, then helped form the Majority Coalition Caucus, a bipartisan group of Republicans and two Democrats that has led the Senate since 2013.
Walsh will formally file for the election during the open filing period the third week of May. Walsh’s campaign kickoff event is May 14 at Walla Walla’s Pioneer Park Garden Center.
The primary election is Aug. 2. The general election is Nov. 8.