Eye On Olympia

Republican lawmakers pick leaders: Kretz is now No. 2 in the House…

House and Senate Republicans have picked their leaders for what's going to be a very interesting year.

-Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis, remains House Minority Leader.
-Rep. Joel Kretz, who's putting Wauconda back on the map, is deputy minority leader.
-Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Sunnyside: floor leader.
-Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish: caucus chair.
-Rep. Bill Hinkle, R-Cle Elum: whip.
-Reps. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake, and Charles Ross, R-Naches, assistant floor leaders.

Kretz is the only real surprise here, replacing Rep. Doug Eriksen, R-Bellingham, in the No. 2 post. In a statement, the conservative rancher said "Olympia could use a dose of Seventh District values," and that the job gives rural northeastern Washington "a strong voice at the table."

The Senate also held few surprises, other than the election of Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, as deputy leader. He replaces Sen. Cheryl Pflug, R-Maple Valley, who will be caucus vice chair.

Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla keeps the post he's had since 2005. And local Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, will remain floor leader.

Elsewhere on the roster: Caucus chair: Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, R-Wenatchee; whip: Sen. Dale Brandland, R-Bellingham; deputy floor leader: Sen Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, and deputy whip: Sen. Jerome Delvin, R-Richland.





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