By Jerry Cornfield
Republican Rep. Richard DeBolt of Chehalis announced today he is stepping down as minority leader due to health concerns but will continue serving in the state House.
“After talking with my wife, father and doctor, this is the right decision,” DeBolt said in a press release. “It will be hard leaving a job I love and have done for so long, but there comes a time that you must change your priorities in life. I really appreciate the love and support my colleagues have shown me. It speaks volumes about them and their compassion.”
DeBolt, who represents the 20th Legislative District, was first elected to the Legislature in 1996. His current term runs through January 2015.
He suffered a medical emergency at his home April 10, according to the release. Since then, he has been under the care of doctors who have been running a series of tests. Final test results are expected later this week.
DeBolt said he experienced similar health problems two years ago, and has battled separate ailments over the last decade.
“Two years ago, my doctor recommended that I step down from my position as leader. I didn’t take that advice and should have,” he said. “Sometimes people take their health for granted and feel invincible, but then they are confronted with reality. That’s where I find myself today.”