Kristiansen replaces Rep. Richard DeBolt (R-Chehalis), who stepped down due to health concerns on April 17. The announcement was made over the weekend as lawmakers finished up the 105-day regular session. A special session is slated to begin May 13.
The vote was unanimous for the 50-year-old real estate businessman who has been serving in the Legislature since 2003.
“I appreciate the confidence my colleagues have shown in me, but this isn’t about me. This is about a group of 43 Republican lawmakers who are dedicated to creating jobs, improving our education system and protecting hard-working taxpayers,” Kristiansen said in a news release. “It’s a unique time to come in as leader, but we are all united and will continue to advocate for solutions to get Washington working.”
Rep. Joel Kretz (R-Wauconda) was retained deputy leader. Here’s the rest of the leadership team:
- Caucus chair: Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake (replaces Rep. Dan Kristiansen)
- Vice-caucus chair: Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy
- Floor leader: Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm
- Assistant floor leader: Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley
- Assistant floor leader: Rep. Steve O’Ban, R-Pierce County(replaces Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, who chose not to run for the position again)
- Whip: Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver
- Assistant whip: Rep. Jeff Holy, R-Cheney
- Assistant whip: Rep. Drew MacEwen, R-Union
- Assistant whip: Rep. Elizabeth Scott, R-Monroe