Republicans have appointed nine-term Chehalis Rep. Richard DeBolt as the ranking GOP member on the House Capital Budget Committee.
DeBolt had enjoyed a short stint as a rank-and-file member after illness forced him to step aside as House Republican leader in mid-April. He led the Republican caucus in 2004 and again during 2006-13.
DeBolt now moves into the role formerly played by Rep. Judy Warnick, R-Moses Lake. Warnick was named caucus chairwoman during the reorganization that put Rep. Dan Kristiansen of Snohomish into DeBolt’s old role.
In his new position, DeBolt will work with Rep. Hans Dunshee, D-Snohomish, on state construction budgets.
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Earlier this year, Dunshee and Warnick had worked with Senate counterparts to craft a $3.6 billion capital construction budget for 2013-15 that included about $28.2 million for flood-control efforts along the Chehalis River. DeBolt had sought the funding.
But DeBolt has also tangled with the liberal and outspoken Dunshee, who has a strong environmental record that often is at odds with the House Republicans’ deregulation goals.
DeBolt’s role change comes as his onetime 20th District seatmate, Rep. Gary Alexander, says he plans to leave the House after the Nov. 5 election. Alexander, who is running for Thurston County auditor, first was elected to the House in 1996, the same year as DeBolt.
Redistricting moved Alexander into the 2nd District for the 2012 election.