OLYMPIA – Mark Schoesler, of Ritzville, will continue to lead Republicans in the Senate in the 2019 legislative session.
Schoesler, 61, was elected majority leader in late 2014 when Republicans controlled the Senate through a coalition with one Democrat, and served in that spot until Democrats gained a majority in a special election in fall 2017. He was minority leader for the 2018 session.
A wheat farmer, he was first elected to the House in 1992, and served there until 2002. He was elected to the Senate in 2004. Before becoming majority leader, Schoesler was the Republican floor leader, a position where he helped move or block legislation and Senate business with a broad knowledge of parliamentary maneuvers.
Schoesler’s election, which was expected, means the top spots in the Senate for the upcoming session will come from districts that include parts of Spokane County. Democrat Andy Billig, from the city of Spokane’s 3rd District, was elected Senate majority leader last week. Schoesler’s 9th District includes suburban and rural southern Spokane County as well as Adams, Asotin, Franklin, Garfield and Whitman counties.
Shelly Short, of Addy, was elected Senate Republican floor leader for the 2019 session.