OLYMPIA – House Republicans named two legislators from a Spokane-area district to leadership posts as they reorganized Monday for the upcoming legislative session.
The top two spots remained the same Rep. J.T. Wilcox, of Yelm, was re-elected minority leader and Rep. Joel Kretz, of Wauconda, was re-elected deputy minority leader, the Number 2 position in the caucus.Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber, of Republican, was named assistant floor leader.
Missing from the House GOP leadership ranks next session will be Rep. Matt Shea, Spokane Valley, who was previously was caucus chairman, the Number 3 position.
Shea, who won his sixth term earlier this month with about 58 percent of the vote, has made some controversial statements in recent months. That included publishing a document online called “The Biblical Basis for War”, which condemns abortion and same-sex marriage and describes violence against those who flout biblical law. Shea said it was merely a summary of sermons about biblical war in the Old Testament and called criticism “smears and slander.”
Asked whether the controversy had anything to do with the change in leadership, Wilcox said House Republicans “don’t share caucus debates.” But he said Shea may be named the ranking Republican on one of the House committees next month when those panels are selected, and a caucus chairman can’t also serve as the ranking minority member of a committee.