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Senate Democrats back Pam Roach for Senate President Pro Tem

by caprecord
Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn)

Senate Democrats blocked the appointment of Majority Coalition Caucus-backed Sen. Tim Sheldon (D-Potlatch) to President Pro Tempore with the nomination of Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn).

Roach received 25 votes out of 49 — all 23 of the Democrats, and herself and Sen. Don Benton (R-Vancouver).

The Senate President Pro Tempore presides when Lt. Gov. Brad Owen is absent and also serves as the vice chair of the Committee on Rules.

Sheldon, who has been the President Pro Tempore for the past two years, crossed over with former Sen. Rodney Tom (D-Bellevue) from the Democrats to caucus with Republicans, creating the Majority Coalition Caucus.

Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-Shoreline) nominated Roach, citing her long service and seniority, after Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler nominated Sheldon. Then, Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn) nominated Democrat Sen. Karen Fraser (D-Olympia), citing Fraser’s long service.

Fraser joined the other Democrats and Roach and Benton in backing Roach. Sheldon received the other 24 votes.

“It is a tremendous honor to continue serving our legislative district and to take on the job of president pro tem,” said Roach in a prepared statement. “If you had told me in 1991 that I would become the first woman elected to seven terms in our state Senate, I would not have believed it – but the people keep hiring me for another four years.”