[8/1/19] First Female Speaker for Washington State

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Democrats have elected the first female speaker of the House in Washington state. State Rep. Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma was chosen yesterday after a caucus meeting and vote at a hotel conference room in SeaTac. She was one of four women representatives seek the top spot after Frank Chopp, the state’s longest-serving speaker, announced he was stepping down from his leadership position but would remain in the Legislature. Democratic Rep. John Lovick has been serving as acting speaker since May, and will remain in that role until the speaker-designate is approved by the full House at the start of the 2020 legislative session in January. Democrats hold a 57-41 majority in the House, and women — with 31 seats — hold a majority within the caucus. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven states currently have female speakers of the House: Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont.