OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Democratic Sen. Rosa Franklin, the first black woman elected to the Washington state Senate, says she's retiring.
In an e-mail to colleagues and staff on Tuesday, the 83-year-old from Tacoma says her nearly two decades in the Legislature were a roller coaster ride with "high points and low points, beautiful scenery and mud puddles." But she says it was all worth it.
Franklin was elected to the Senate in 1993, after a two-year term in the state House. Franklin, a retired nurse, held various leadership positions while in the Senate, including president pro tem.
Franklin is one of two black lawmakers in the current state Legislature. Rep. Eric Pettigrew, D-Seattle, was elected to the House in 2002.