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House Democrats will select new speaker this summer

This press release was provided by the Washington House Democrats. The caucus issued a corrected version shortly after the first — this reflects that correction.

The state House Democratic Caucus will meet July 31 to select a replacement for Speaker Frank Chopp, who is stepping aside after 20 years in the position.

Chopp (D-Seattle), the longest-serving speaker in state history, will remain a representative for Seattle’s 43rd legislative district.

“The last change in speakers was 20 years ago,” according to Caucus Chair Eric Pettigrew (D-Seattle). “Only four members besides the speaker was here during that time so it’s important we have a clear, coordinated transition plan. We’re all on the same page and ready to move forward as a united caucus.”

Chopp plans to resign the speakership a few days after the 2019 legislative session ends to focus on housing and homelessness. Speaker Pro Tem John Lovick (D-Mill Creek) will assume the speaker’s duties. At the July 31 caucus meeting, members will choose a speaker-designate. This person will become speaker officially after a House-wide election takes place at the start of the 2020 legislative session in January.

“We have the most diverse caucus in state history, but we are united by the common goal of providing opportunity for all Washingtonians,” Pettigrew said. “House Democrats have an exciting future ahead.”

The 2019 regular legislative session is scheduled to adjourn April 28.

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