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New speaker of Washington House to be selected this summer

April 24, 2019

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A new speaker of the Washington state House of Representatives will be selected this summer.

House Democrats announced Wednesday that the caucus will meet July 31 to select the replacement for Speaker Frank Chopp, the state’s longest longest-serving speaker and the second longest-serving House speaker in the nation.

Chopp, 65, was first elected to the House in 1994. He became minority leader in his second term. After Democrats won more seats in the chamber and pulled into a tie, he became co-speaker of the House in 1999, sharing the gavel with Republican Clyde Ballard of East Wenatchee. Democrats won a special election in 2001, and Chopp was installed as speaker in 2002.

Chopp plans to resign the speakership a few days after the legislative session is scheduled to end on Sunday. Chopp has said he plans to remain in the Legislature, and will shift his focus to housing and homelessness issues.

Whoever is selected on July 31 as the speaker-designate will have their position become official after a floor vote takes place at the start of the 2020 legislative session in January.

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