OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A Republican-dominated coalition took power in the Senate, establishing a new majority leader on the first day of the legislative session and rejecting Democrats' offer to co-chair all Senate committees.
On a 25-23 vote, the newly formed "majority coalition" caucus voted themselves in as the majority, essentially deposing Democratic state Sen. Ed Murray, who was elected as majority leader in November. The new coalition has said that Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom of Medina will serve as their new majority leader.
Democrats have a small majority in the Senate, controlling 26 of 49 seats. But Tom and fellow Democratic Sen. Tim Sheldon have said they'll work with the chamber's 23 Republicans in the new coalition and will caucus with them. That new caucus now holds a 25-24 advantage.