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Former Congressional staffer announces run for vacating Washington House seat


(The Center Square) – A former senior staff member for Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers is running for the State House seat currently held by Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, who won’t be seeking reelection.

Pat Bell, who currently works for Spokane County, will be seeking Position 2 in the 7th Legislative District, which covers northeastern Washington.

Kretz announced several weeks ago he planned to retire from the legislature, saying “it’s been a hard decision. I think it’s important in this job or any job to know when to quit, and I’ve watched legislators who didn’t. And it doesn’t end well.”

Bell was a senior staff member for McMorris Rodgers between 2010-2012 and again between 2018-2023.

McMorris Rodgers, who has also announced she’s not seeking reelection, wrote in a press release statement that “Pat knows the district, he knows the people, and he knows the issues. I am excited to see him step up as a next-generation leader, and know he will be a strong voice for the people of the 7th.”

According to a press release statement, Bell is a fifth-generation Washington resident who grew up in Springdale and Camano Island. He has a Masters in Public Administration and was a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship recipient. He currently lives with his family in Suncrest, which is located along the Spokane River approximately 10 miles north of the city of Spokane.