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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

January 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Republicans take control of the state Senate

Sen. Rodney Tom, center, a Democrat who crossed party lines to give the GOP control in the Senate, is shown during day one of the Washington State Legislature.
(Photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times)

Republicans officially took control of the state Senate on Monday after voting down a Democratic proposal to split power down the middle.

Democratic Sens. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, and Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch, crossed party lines to give the GOP a 25-24 majority. They call themselves the Majority Coalition Caucus.

They offered to let Democrats chair six committees and co-chair three others. Three Democrats took them up on the offer.

“This is a cause for celebration,” said GOP Sen. Linda Parlette, R-Wenatchee. “People want us to work collaboratively.”

But most Democrats weren’t in a mood to celebrate. Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles called what the GOP was offering her party “BINO, bi-partisanship in name only.”

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: rodney tom, Wsahington Legislature

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