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Denny Heck
Denny Heck official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 10th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byConstituency established
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 17th district
In office
January 10, 1977 – January 11, 1985
Preceded byEugene Laughlin
Succeeded byKim Peery
Personal details
Born (1952-07-29) July 29, 1952 (age 68)
Vancouver, Washington, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Paula Fruci
m. 1976)
EducationEvergreen State College (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Dennis Lynn Heck (born July 29, 1952) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Washington's 10th congressional district since 2013. A member of the Democratic Party, his district is based in the state capital Olympia and also includes much of eastern Tacoma.

Heck was previously the Democratic nominee for the 3rd congressional district in 2010, but was defeated by Republican Jaime Herrera Beutler. In 2012, he ran and won in the newly created 10th congressional district, defeating Republican Dick Muri.[1]

Heck served as Chief of Staff to Washington Governor Booth Gardner from 1990 to 1993. Previously, he was Majority Leader of the Washington State House of Representatives and Chief Clerk of the House. He founded and served as CEO of TVW, the state equivalent of C-SPAN. From 1999 to 2012, he served on the board of directors of Intrepid Learning Solutions,[2] which he co-founded with Christopher Hedrick.

On December 4, 2019, Heck announced that he would not seek reelection in 2020.[3] On April 3, 2020 he filed to run for Lieutenant Governor.[4]

Early life and education

Heck was born in Vancouver, Washington in 1952, and raised in the Lake Shore area of Clark County where he graduated from Columbia River High School. He graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia in 1973.

Early career

Heck was the co-founder and from 1999 to 2012 was board director of Intrepid Learning Solutions, a company specializing in business oriented education and training programs.[5] He helped found Digital Efficiency, which specializes in aiding businesses and medical facilities in transferring toward an all digital format. Heck helped found TVW,[6] the public affairs network for the state. TVW provides coverage of the Washington State Legislature and sessions of the Washington Supreme Court.[7]

Heck is the author of Challenges and Opportunities: The Transformation of Washington's Schools, published in 1987.

Washington House of Representatives

Starting in 1976, Heck was elected to five terms in the Washington House of Representatives, representing the 17th Legislative District in Clark, Skamania, and Klickitat Counties. During that time he was elected Majority Leader, the second-ranking position in the House. He also co-chaired the Education Committee and wrote the state's historic Basic Education Act.

Heck served as Chief of Staff for Governor Booth Gardner during his second term (1989–93).

U.S. House of Representatives

Heck's freshman portrait (113th Congress)
Heck's freshman portrait (113th Congress)



Heck announced his candidacy to replace the retiring Democratic incumbent Brian Baird.[8] He won the primary with 31% of the vote and faced runner-up Republican Jaime Herrera, who won 28% of the vote.[9]

Heck was endorsed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on October 12, 2010.[10] Herrera defeated Heck in the general election, 53% to 47%.[11]


Heck indicated in the spring of 2011 that he would run for Congress again in 2012.[12] Soon after the state's redistricting commission announced tentative maps, Heck announced that he was running for the newly created 10th District, based in Olympia.[13] In the general election on November 6, 2012, Heck defeated Republican challenger Dick Muri to become the district's first congressman.[1]


Heck won with 51.6% of the vote over Republican Joyce McDonald.


Heck won with 58.7% of the vote over Republican Jim Postma.

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act

Since 2013, Heck has introduced (along with Rep. Ed Perlmutter) legislation to improve access to banking and financial services for cannabis businesses.[17][18] Initially known as the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act, it was rebranded as the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act in 2017.[19] On September 25, 2019, the House of Representatives passed the SAFE Banking Act by a 321–103 vote, marking the first time that either chamber of Congress has approved a standalone cannabis reform bill.[20][21]

Electoral history

District #17 Representative #1 Election Results (1976-1984)[22]

Year Democratic Votes Pct. Republican Votes Pct.
1984 Dennis L. Heck 21,130 66.50% Steve Moore 10,645 33.50%
1982 Dennis L. Heck 15,080 64.48% Suzanne Taylor-Moore 8,308 35.52%
1980 Dennis L. Heck 28,302 71.64% Elizabeth G. Spires 11,202 28.36%
1978 Dennis L. Heck 16,486 69.37% David H. Miller 7,278 30.63%
1976 Dennis L. Heck 17,998 59.15% Eddie McAninch 12,428 40.85%

Personal life

Heck and his wife Paula Fruci, married since 1976, have two sons.

Heck wrote and self-published a mystery novel entitled The Enemy You Know. In 2008, he wrote and performed a one-man play, Our Times to several sold out audiences.[23] He and his wife, Paula, who directed the play, donated all proceeds to local charities.

Heck has supported numerous organizations within Washington, both actively and as a past contributor. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Evergreen State College.[24] He serves on the Board for the Washington State History Museum.[25] He is a member of the Steering Committee for the Washington Learns Commission; a long-term strategy to improve the education system of Washington.[26]


  • Dennis L. Heck, Challenges and Opportunities: The Transformation of Washington's Schools, Advance Washington (1987)


  1. ^ a b Schrader, Jordan; Shannon, Brad. "Democrats Derek Kilmer, Denny Heck win Congressional races". The News Tribune. Tacoma News, Inc. Archived from the original on 21 September 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  2. ^ "Intrepid Learning Inc.'s corporate learning platform". Archived from the original on 16 October 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  3. ^ Bowman, Bridget; Bowman, Bridget (2019-12-04). "Washington Democratic Rep. Denny Heck not running for reelection". Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  4. ^ Drew, James (April 3, 2020). "U.S. Rep. Heck files paperwork to run for state Lieutenant Governor". The News Tribune. Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  5. ^ Intrepid Learning Solutions Archived 2010-09-18 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "TVW".
  7. ^ "Digital Efficiency". Archived from the original on 10 July 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  8. ^ "Denny Heck enters race for Baird's seat". 7 January 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  9. ^ Kyle Trygstad (2010-08-26). "Herrera Up Big in WA-3 Poll". CQ Politics. Archived from the original on 2010-08-31. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  10. ^ Send Denny Heck to Congress, editorial board, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 12, 2010
  11. ^ "Congressional District 3". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  12. ^ The Seattle Times | Denny Heck signals possible run for new 10th District, Seattle Times", May 23, 2011
  13. ^ Connelly, Joel (December 28, 2011). "A "Denny District" -- new House $$ pitches". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  14. ^ "Members". New Democrat Coalition. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  16. ^ "Members". U.S. - Japan Caucus. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  17. ^ "SAFE Banking Act Introduced as Congress Looks to Address Cannabis Banking Issue" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: March 7, 2019.
  18. ^ "Perlmutter, Heck Introduce Commonsense Marijuana Business Access To Banking Act" (Press release). July 10, 2013.
  19. ^ Wallace, Alicia (April 27, 2017). "New federal bill would allow banking for marijuana businesses". The Cannabist. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  20. ^ "Joint Release: Safe Banking Act Passes U.S. House Of Representatives With Overwhelming, Bipartisan Support" (Press release). Washington, D.C.: September 25, 2019.
  21. ^ Jaeger, Kyle (September 25, 2019). "House Approves Marijuana Banking Bill In Historic Vote". Marijuana Moment. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  22. ^ "Election Results Search - Elections & Voting - WA Secretary of State". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  23. ^ "Denny Heck: Part liberal, part conservative". The Columbian. Retrieved 2019-12-04.
  24. ^ "Board of Trustees at Evergreen". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  25. ^ "Washington State Historical Society > Research". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  26. ^ "Washington Learn Steering Committee". Archived from the original on 3 November 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2016.

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Constituency established
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 10th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Tulsi Gabbard
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
George Holding
This page was last edited on 5 August 2020, at 22:15
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