Dennis Heck

Denny Heck
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 10th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by District established
Member of the Washington House of Representatives
from the 17th district
In office
January 10, 1977 (1977-01-10)  January 11, 1985 (1985-01-11)
Preceded by Eugene L. Laughlin
Succeeded by W. Kim Peery
Personal details
Born (1952-07-29) July 29, 1952
Vancouver, Washington
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Paula Heck
Children 2
Residence Olympia, Washington
Alma mater The Evergreen State College
Occupation entrepreneur, author
Website Representative Denny Heck

Dennis "Denny" L. Heck (born July 29, 1952) is an American politician who has been the United States Representative for Washington's 10th congressional district since 2013. Heck was previously the Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative for the 3rd district in 2010, but was defeated by Jaime Herrera Beutler (R). In 2012 Heck ran and won in the newly created 10th 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.

Early life, education, and business career

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.

Heck was the co-founder and from 1999 to 2012 was board director of Intrepid Learning Solutions,[3] a company specializing in business oriented education and training programs. He helped found Digital Efficiency[4] which specializes in aiding businesses and medical facilities in transferring toward an all digital format. Heck helped found TVW,[5] the public affairs network for the state. TVW provides coverage of the Washington State Legislature and sessions of the Washington Supreme Court.

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 announced his candidacy to replace the retiring Democratic incumbent Brian Baird.[6] He won the primary with 31% of the vote and faced runner-up Republican Jaime Herrera, who won 28% of the vote.[7]

Heck was endorsed by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer on October 12, 2010.[8] Herrera defeated Heck in the general election, 53% to 47%.[9]


Heck indicated in the spring of 2011 that he would run for Congress again in 2012.[10] 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.[11] In the general election on November 6, 2012, Heck defeated Republican challenger Dick Muri to become the district's first congressman.[1]

Committee assignments

Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act of 2015

Heck introduced H.R. 2076, the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act of 2015, into the U.S. House of Representatives on April 28, 2015.[12] The bill's goal is to create protections for depository institutions that provide financial services to marijuana-related businesses.[12] It is co-sponsored by Ed Perlmutter and 16 other Republican and Democratic representatives.[12]

Electoral history

District #17 Representative #1 Election Results (1976-1984)[13]

Year Democrat 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. 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.[14] He serves on the Board for the Washington State History Museum.[15] He is a member of the Steering Committee for the Washington Learns Commission; a long-term strategy to improve the education system of Washington.[16]


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


  1. 1 2 Schrader, Jordan; Shannon, Brad. "Democrats Derek Kilmer, Denny Heck win Congressional races". Tacoma News, Inc. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  2. "Intrepid Learning Inc.'s corporate learning platform". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  3. Intrepid Learning Solutions
  4. "Digital Efficiency". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  5. TVW
  6. "Denny Heck enters race for Baird's seat". 7 January 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  7. Kyle Trygstad (2010-08-26). "Herrera Up Big in WA-3 Poll". CQ Politics. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  8. Send Denny Heck to Congress, editorial board, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, October 12, 2010
  9. "Congressional District 3". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  10. , Seattle Times", May 23, 2011
  11. Connelly, Joel (December 28, 2011). "A "Denny District" -- new House $$ pitches". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  12. 1 2 3 Mendoza, Monica (April 30, 2015). "Colorado lawmaker fights to ease marijuana banking". Upstart Business Journal. Charlotte, North Carolina. Retrieved May 4, 2015. Banks have refused the accounts of marijuana-related business over fear of being accused of money laundering and drug trafficking. Some lawmakers want these businesses to have legitimate bank accounts.
  13. "Election Results Search - Elections & Voting - WA Secretary of State". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  14. "Board of Trustees at Evergreen". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  15. "Washington State Historical Society > Research". Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  16. "Washington Learn Steering Committee". Retrieved 23 November 2016.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dennis Heck.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
District established
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Washington's 10th congressional district

January 3, 2013  present
United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Tulsi Gabbard
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
George Holding
R-North Carolina
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