Washington Senate Opens With Democratic Insurgency
Republicans control the Washington Senate, but Monday’s start of the 2015 session featured a Democratic insurgency.
It happened when Republicans tried to re-elect Sen. Tim Sheldon as president pro tem of the Senate. Sheldon is a Democrat who in 2012 joined with Republicans to help them take control of the Washington Senate.
Majority Republicans wanted to re-elect Sheldon to the position when suddenly minority Democrats nominated a Republican. And not just any Republican: Sen. Pam Roach who’s been a lightning rod over the years.
In the end, Roach won. Democrats elected a Republican when Republicans wanted a Democrat in the position.
The president pro tem presides over the state Senate in the absence of the lieutenant governor and at least historically has served as vice chair of the committee that decides which bills make it to the floor.
Senator Roach’s election is just another twist and turn in a long and eventful career in the Washington Senate. In 2010 Roach was barred from the Republican caucus following an investigation into her treatment of Senate staff.