Sen. Hobbs demoted by GOP-led coalition

OLYMPIA — The predominantly-Republican majority in the Senate has demoted a Democratic chairman to co-chairman of that chamber’s banking and housing committee.

On a 26-23 caucus-line vote Monday, the Majority Coalition Caucus installed Sen. Jan Angel, a Republican from Port Orchard, to be co-chairwoman along with Democratic Sen. Steve Hobbs of Lake Stevens, who previously had sole chairmanship of the Financial Institutions, Housing and Insurance Committee. Angel was elected to the Senate in a special election in November, and she faces re-election later this year, along with about half of the Senate.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Hobbs noted that he often voted with the coalition caucus, and became chairman last year in the spirit of bipartisanship when the caucus offered Democrats control or co-control of several committees.

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