“I was saddened to learn of my friend John McCoy’s retirement from the Senate, but his legacy of service to his community, our state and the nation will be felt for generations.

“He served this country with distinction for 20 years as a member of the Air Force. For almost as long, he has represented the people of 38th District in the Legislature, advocating for a healthier environment, more inclusive education, a voice for Native American people and countless other policies to make life better for every Washingtonian.

“Since 2016, he has helped guide the Senate Democratic Caucus as our Caucus Chair, always offering a steady path forward as we regained the majority and took on historic challenges.

“As the only Native American member of the Senate, Sen. McCoy’s perspective and understanding of tribal sovereignty and governments has been instrumental in advancing the policies to support our state’s indigenous communities. His determination to integrate historically accurate tribal history, in a way that celebrates the beauty and the richness of every tribe into school curricula, will continue to give generations of Washington students a more complete education.

“He has led efforts to improve access to dental care in Native communities by sponsoring a landmark dental therapy bill. He worked to tear down barriers to voting, increase broadband access to rural areas and is a relentless champion for clean water.

“For me personally, John McCoy is a mentor. He was the chair of the first committee I ever served on in the legislature and was a teacher and role model for me then and he continues in that role today. I think the world of John McCoy..

“To his wife Jeannie, his daughters, grand-children and great grandchildren – thank you. Thank you for sharing this great man with our state and our country for so many years.

“I wish my friend John McCoy and his family nothing but the best in his well-earned retirement.”