Lieutenant Governor Denny Heck, Honorary Board Member
Olympia, Washington

Congressman Denny Heck, Honorary Board Member of Blackpast.org

On November 6th, 2012, the residents of Washington’s new 10th Congressional District elected Denny Heck to be the district’s first member of the United States House of Representatives. Heck chose not to run for re-election in the 2020 election year, ran for the Lieutenant Governor position in his home state, won that office on November 3, 2020, and was sworn in as Washington State’s Lieutenant Governor on January 11, 2021.  He presides over the State Senate, and takes over the duties of the Governor when the Governor is out of state or otherwise unable to act as Governor.

While in Congress, his top priorities were creating jobs, growing our economy, advocating for military families and veterans, and protecting the health and natural beauty of the Puget Sound’s environment. Congressman Heck was the only Member of Congress from the Pacific Northwest that served on the House Financial Services Committee. He was a member of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit subcommitteeOversight and Investigations subcommittee and Monetary Policy and Trade subcommittee

In the decade prior to his election to Congress, Heck successfully grew several small businesses in Washington State. One of those small businesses, which specializes in workplace education, was started in Olympia with only two employees. Today it employs more than 300 people throughout the United States and has continued to grow in recent years.  Lieutenant Governor Heck was also an original investor in Real Networks, the digital entertainment company that pioneered streaming media on the Internet.

A strong advocate of open government, in 1993 Heck also co-founded TVW to provide the people of Washington State greater accessibility to their state government. TVW has grown into the nation’s preeminent statewide public affairs network. While at TVW, the Lieutenant Governor hosted the renowned public affairs program Inside Olympia and won an Emmy for a documentary he wrote and produced.

Heck served his community in the State House of Representatives for nearly a decade. He was chosen by his colleagues to serve as Majority Leader before retiring in 1986. While in the State House, he was one of the prime authors of the state’s historic Basic Education Act. After his time in the Legislature, he served as Chief of Staff to Governor Booth Gardner during his second term.

Lieutenant Governor Heck is a native Washingtonian and graduated from The Evergreen State College in 1973. He has been married since 1976 to Paula Fruci Heck, an educator who began her career as a teacher and retired as principal at Jefferson Middle School in Olympia. He and Paula have lived in Olympia for over 30 years and together they have two sons, Bob and Trey.