The Associated Press
TACOMA — Rep. Steve O’Ban has been appointed to fill the seat of Sen. Mike Carrell, who died last week from complications related to his treatment for a blood condition.
The Pierce County Council was unanimous in its Tuesday vote for O’Ban. O’Ban was one of three names forwarded to the council by Pierce County Republicans, including Pierce County Councilman Dick Muri, who was the party’s top choice. University Place City Councilman Javier Figueroa was also considered.
Carrell died last Wednesday at a Seattle hospital. Earlier this year, the Lakewood Republican was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, also known as pre-leukemia. The chronic disease affects blood-forming stem cells. With his death, the Senate was in a tie, with 24 Democrats and 24 members of the Majority Coalition Caucus, which comprises 23 Republicans and two Democrats. O’Ban’s appointment regains the majority for the Majority Coalition. He will be sworn in at the Senate Wednesday morning.