Senator Ed Murray, Democrat, was elected Senate Majority Leader yesterday, November 13. Murray was elected by his fellow democrats in the Senate where they hold a narrow majority. Murray serves in the 43rd legislative district and has been in the Senate since 1995. Most recently he served as Ways & Means Chair; a seat now open.
Senator Lisa Brown, Spokane, held the position for a number of years but did not seek reelection this season. Murray was presumed next in line for the post; however, the announcement came as a bit of a surprise. Yesterday I blogged about a contentious race playing out in the 17th district where incumbent, Republican Don Benton, holds a narrow lead over Democrat Tim Probst. If Benton retains his seat the Democrats’ lead in the house is narrowed. This narrowed lead may offer an opportunity for across-aisle alliances. and could mean the difference between a Democrat or Republican “lead” Senate, or some type of “split” governance structure. See the full story here. Murray, however, dismissed this idea saying to the Seattle Times he’s open to some committees being chaired by Republicans but, “My belief is that somebody needs to be in control, otherwise we’ll have chaos on the floor.”
As finalized numbers come in from the 17th district we will gain a better idea of what to expect.