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Spokane Valley Rep. Matt Shea elected GOP caucus leader in Washington House

UPDATED: Thu., Feb. 2, 2017, 5:36 p.m.

Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane, speaks last year at the Capitol in Olympia. An amendment from the state representative stipulates that state money can’t be spent for planning or constructing a roundabout on Trent Avenue as part of the Barker Road grade separation project. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane, speaks last year at the Capitol in Olympia. An amendment from the state representative stipulates that state money can’t be spent for planning or constructing a roundabout on Trent Avenue as part of the Barker Road grade separation project. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

OLYMPIA – Spokane Valley Rep. Matt Shea was elected House Minority Caucus chairman by his fellow Republicans on Thursday, filling an opening created by the falling dominoes of an appointment to the Trump administration.

Shea takes the place of Shelly Short, who moved to the Senate from the House this week to fill a vacancy in the 7th Legislative District that opened up when Brian Dansel took a job as special assistant to the U.S. Agriculture Department in the new administration.

As caucus chairman, Shea will preside over meetings of House Republicans to discuss and decide positions on legislation and policies. His election means three of the top four slots in House Republican leadership are held by representatives from Spokane-area districts. Rep. Joel Kretz, of Wauconda is deputy minority leader and Rep. Joe Schmick, of Colfax, is the caucus vice chairman.


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