The Capitol Record

Sen. Mike Hewitt won’t be Senate GOP leader

Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla, said today he will not seek reelection as the Senate Republican leader.

Hewitt, who has served in the leadership position since 2005, said in a statement he is stepping down because of his health and to “encourage a new model of leadership in the state Senate.”

The news comes a day after a Seattle Times story that said Republicans are considering another Senate coup, similar to the one that took control of the budget away from Democrats last session. One of the Democrats who made that possible by voting with Republicans — Sen. Rodney Tom — is named in the story as a possible “coalition leader.”

Hewitt said he wants to promote new Senate leadership from the center.

“Focusing on centrist policy rather than party labels is what will make the people of Washington a winner,” Hewitt said.

Senate Democrats elected Sen. Ed Murray as their party leader earlier this week. Senate Republicans will elect their leaders at a caucus meeting on Nov. 28

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