State Legislature
4:24 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

State Senate majority could be imperiled by sick member

The serious illness of a Washington state Senator could threaten to alter the balance of power in that legislative chamber. The majority is now potentially short a critical vote.

Republican Mike Carrell is home battling a blood disease and is a candidate for a bone marrow transplant. His condition is serious enough he was recently hospitalized. With Carrell gone, the mostly Republican Majority Coalition Caucus has just 24 members – one shy of an actual majority.

In a statement, Democratic leader Ed Murray sent wishes for a “speedy recovery.”

He goes on to say “Senate Democrats are committed … to working collaboratively, regardless of changes that create or dissolve majorities now or in the future.”

But things may not be so precarious. The Majority Coalition says for now Carrell is available to come to the Capitol if needed for a critical vote. And previously, Democratic Senator Jim Hargrove indicated as a courtesy he would serve a proxy vote for Carrell in his absence.