Seattle Democrat Sen. Ed Murray will be the new Senate majority leader. He replaces Sen. Lisa Brown, who decided not to run for re-election after holding the leadership post for the last eight years.
Murray is fresh off the victory of Referendum 74, which grants same-sex couples the right to marry in Washington state.
Murray is a longtime advocate of gay and lesbian rights, and he was the prime sponsor of the same-sex marriage bill that voters approved last week. He’ll be the first openly gay majority leader in the state’s history.
Murray was first elected to the state House in 1995. He’s served in the state Senate since 2006, where he chairs the budget-writing committee. In an uncontested election, Senate Democrats chose Murray to serve as majority leader at a private caucus meeting today.
Here is Murray’s statement about the position:
“We have work to do in Olympia – prioritizing education, creating jobs for the middle class, and ensuring Washingtonians have the health care they need. And one of our challenges in a closely divided chamber is to ensure that the Senate is able to fulfill its obligation to govern the state, in tandem with Gov.-elect Jay Inslee and the House. These are not simple challenges, but they are solvable. We can find solutions that work for all of Washington.”
Sen. Lisa Brown released a statement congratulating Murray. “Under Sen. Murray’s leadership, the Democratic Caucus is well-positioned to continue to provide support for the people of Washington,” she said.