GOP House minority leader calming the waters

The Seattle TimesFebruary 17, 2014 

House Republican leader Rep. Dan Kristiansen, of Snohomish, took over for former Minority Leader Richard DeBolt this past year.

BETTINA HANSEN — The Seattle Times

When Rep. Dan Kristiansen meets someone, he hopes they don’t ask about his job.

“Put ‘politician’ next to anyone’s name, and they might as well be carrying the plague,” he said.

The Snohomish Republican and House minority leader doesn’t care much for the politics of politics. He’s a conservative who isn’t afraid to work with Democrats — or at least consider what they have to say.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say House Republicans have been less combative since Kristiansen took over as leader of the caucus in April when Chehalis Rep. Richard DeBolt stepped down for medical reasons.

“I think the minority has this tendency to react to whatever the majority is doing,” Kristiansen said. “As I took over this role last April, what I wanted to do was help in leading the state, not just reacting to what the majority is doing.”

But some in the Republican Party say Kristiansen’s approach won’t help the GOP win a majority in the House.

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