Citing Alzheimer's diagnosis, state Sen. Shin, D-Edmonds, resigns

EDMONDS -- State Sen. Paull Shin, D-Edmonds, announced Tuesday he is resigning from the Legislature, effective immediately, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Shin, 78, was elected to the state Senate in 1998 and represented the 21st Legislative District, which includes parts of Edmonds, Mukilteo and parts of Everett and Lynnwood. He also served in the state House of Representatives from 1993-94 before stepping down to make an unsuccessful run for Congress.

Prior to his political career, Shin was a college professor for 31 years, teaching East Asian studies at the University of Washington, Western Washington University and Shoreline Community College.

In his letter to the Gov. Jay Inslee, his legislative colleagues and his constituents, Shin said, "“It is with the deepest regret that I resign from the Senate. I have loved this place and the work we do here on behalf of the people of Washington. Unfortunately, I have determined with the assistance of my family that recent health problems and a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease make it impossible for me to represent my constituents in the manner they deserve.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your help and support over the years. It has been a tremendous privilege to be a member of the State Senate and work with such wonderful colleagues. I am grateful for the camaraderie, the work we accomplished, and the valuable lessons learned. I would also like to thank my wife and children for their love, support, and shared belief in the importance of service. Most of all, I would like to express my thanks to the citizens of the 21st Legislative District, who placed their trust in my stewardship for all of these years; it has been my honor and privilege to serve them for the past 17 years. I look forward to assisting the Senate in making this transition as smooth as possible.”

During the Korean War, Shin was adopted by an American soldier and brought to the United States. After getting a GED, Shin went on to earn a bachelor's degree, master's degree and then a Ph.D from UW.