Today, state Sen. Mark Mullet announced that he is entering the 2024 race for governor of the state of Washington and the Washington Hospitality Association Government Affairs Committee voted to offer him our endorsement in the race.

It’s hard for our team to imagine a candidate better suited to represent our industry in particular and the business community in general than Sen. Mullet, which is why we are taking the unprecedented step of endorsing a gubernatorial candidate a year and a half before Election Day.

Olympia has plenty of elected officials who stake out their position on a given issue and wait for others to come around to their side. Sen. Mullet is not among them. Instead, he’s a leader who brings people together – including from both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Cascades – to find common ground, identify solutions, and deliver results.

During his time in the Legislature, Sen. Mullet has brought his common-sense leadership approach to tackle some of the state’s most pressing challenges, including public safety, housing affordability, tuition, and K-12 education.

As a business owner who knows how to make payroll, Sen. Mullet has brought a voice of reason to policy debates affecting the state’s business climate and has led the effort to provide unemployment insurance relief, authorize property tax deferrals during COVID, open safely post pandemic, and reform the governor’s emergency powers.

And as a member of our own association, Sen. Mullet has been a champion for hospitality, taking the lead on common-sense reforms to the Liquor Cannabis Board, allowing alcohol home delivery, and making needed investments in state tourism, to name just a few notable achievements.

The Washington Hospitality Association has awarded Sen. Mullet with our distinguished Legislative Hero award four times since 2014 and honored him with special recognition in 2020.

Having a fighter and defender of our industry like Sen. Mullet in the governor’s office would not only represent a breath of fresh air for restaurant and hotel operators across the state, but – for many who are still climbing out of two years of devastating pandemic policy – is something they need and deserve.

Even more, Sen. Mullet’s fresh perspective and effective, results-driven leadership in the governor’s office is something that all Washingtonians need and deserve.