OLYMPIA -- Citing health concerns, Rep. Richard DeBolt said today he is stepping down as House Republican leader.
DeBolt, a Chehalis resident first elected in 1996, suffered an unspecified health emergency on the evening of April 10 at his home, a statement from the House Republican caucus said. He has been excused from the legislative action since then, including a vote on the House operating budget last Friday.
He said he experienced similar health problems two years ago and was advised at that time by his doctor to step down from his leadership post.
"I didn't take that advice and a should have," he said in the statement. two years ago, but didn't, the statement said . "Sometimes people take their health for granted and feel invincible, but then they are confronted with reality."
DeBolt will finish out his two-year term, the statement said. Deputy Minority Leader Joel Kretz of Wauconda, is serving as leader until the Republican caucus has a formal reorganization.