Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Senate Majority Back To 25 Members

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network

The Washington Senate’s coalition caucus has reclaimed its majority status. Republican Steve O’Ban was sworn in Wednesday. He fills the seat of the late Mike Carrell who died last week during treatment of a pre-leukemia condition.

O’Ban’s appointment was fast-tracked in order to restore the mostly Republican coalition’s one vote majority during final budget negotiations.

O’Ban says he hopes to emulate Carrell’s legislative style. “I’m not drawing any lines in the sand at this point. I just know we’ve got to get a deal done. People want a bipartisan solution, we’re going to get a bipartisan solution.”

O’Ban was just elected in November to the Washington House as a freshman.

He got emotional when asked what it was like to now fill the seat of his late friend Sen. Carrell. O’Ban calls it “hard” and “humbling.”

On the Web:

Sen. Steve O'Ban - Washington Senate Republican Caucus

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."