Rep. Matt Shea has been chosen by Washington House Republican lawmakers to again serve as Republican assistant floor leader in the state House of Representatives.
Shea, who was recently re-elected to his fourth term in office, was first tapped for the leadership position four years ago.
"I am honored once again to serve the House Republican caucus in a leadership position and helping to frame the message of freedom and liberty," said Shea, R-Spokane Valley.
As assistant floor leader, Shea will help manage legislation and debate on the House floor and represent Republicans in negotiations with majority party floor leaders. He will also provide input in House Republican leadership meetings, including legislative strategy and policy decisions.
An attorney in private practice, Shea says his experience has given him the background to effectively advocate for and against issues, as well as to respond to arguments.
"It helps having the experience of debating in a courtroom to transfer that over to the floor of the House of Representatives and in our caucus. As an attorney, you also have to know how to communicate your message in a court case,” said Shea. “My priority as assistant floor leader is to continue to get our message out throughout the state of Washington of lower taxes, less government and more freedom. That message is resonating with citizens across our state and I believe that is why we have seen an increase in Republican seats during this past election.”
Republicans picked up four additional seats in the state House of Representatives, following the Nov. 4 election, bringing their total to 47 seats and slimming the House Democratic majority to 51 seats.
“The increase of these seats changes the dynamic significantly in the House. Fifty votes gets a bill through the House. We’ve been successful in recent years building coalitions around issues of principles in the House. These additional numbers should make that even easier as we work to craft a budget that funds education and holds the line against tax increases,” added Shea.
Also during today’s meeting, House Republicans re-elected Rep. Dan Kristiansen, R-Snohomish, as leader. Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, was re-elected deputy leader. Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, will serve as caucus chair. Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, was re-elected as floor leader, and Rep. Paul Harris, R-Vancouver, is returning as whip. Rep. Matt Manweller, R-Ellensburg, will serve as the other assistant floor leader.
The 2015 legislative session begins Jan. 12.