Kristiansen will succeed Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis who stepped down April 17 due to health issues. He will serve through the end of 2014.
Kristiansen is in his sixth term as a representative of the 39th Legislative District which encompasses cities and farmland of east Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties. It includes Monroe, Sultan, Granite Falls and Gold Bar and a portion of Arlington.
He has been chairman of the House Republican Caucus for the past seven years. He said Friday he did not campaign for the position but DeBolt and other members of the caucus leadership team asked him to consider it.
"I am honored with the fact that they want me to do it," he said. "It was never a bucket list thing for me."
Kristiansen, a strong fiscal and social conservative, said he will bring a different style to the job.
For one thing, he said, "Richard is a gifted speaker. I'm not a gifted speaker."
Kristiansen, 50, is married and the couple have three children.
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