Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, sits at his desk on the Senate floor in 2017 in Olympia. (Associated Press)

Sen. Marko Liias, D-Mukilteo, sits at his desk on the Senate floor in 2017 in Olympia. (Associated Press)

Habib backs Liias to succeed him as lieutenant governor

The state senator picks up key endorsement as Congressman Heck considers entering the race

LYNNWOOD — Democratic state Sen. Marko Liias on Tuesday secured a big endorsement in his bid to become the state’s next lieutenant governor.

It’s from the guy who holds the job now, Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib.

Habib, who is forgoing re-election to pursue the priesthood, said Liias understands the role of the lieutenant governor better than any other legislator.

“His understanding of parliamentary procedure is second to none,” added Habib in a statement issued by the Liias campaign.

The announcement provides Liias a boost in what is shaping up to be a very competitive contest for the state’s second-highest executive office.

And it arrives as Democratic Congressman Denny Heck of Olympia ponders a bid for the job.

Heck said earlier this year he would not seek another term in the House. He planned to relax and write books of which he has authored four to date.

Then Habib’s decision created a rare opening for a statewide post. Heck registered a political committee and said Monday that he’ll make up his mind about entering the race in the next two weeks.

Even before getting Habib’s backing, Liias said Heck’s entry wouldn’t deter him.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, who was the first Democratic candidate to enter this contest, said Tuesday he’s not pulling out even if the congressman gets in.

“I have no reason to stop at this point,” he said.

Two Republicans had already begun their campaigns for the office — Joseph Brumbles, who lost to Heck in 2018, and Ann Sattler, who ran unsuccessfully for a Seattle City Council seat in 2019.

The lieutenant governor is best known as the president of the state Senate and presides over that chamber during the legislative session, ensuring that protocol is followed and weighing in on parliamentary questions that arise during debate. The lieutenant governor is the first in the line of succession for the governor’s office.

Filing period for candidates is May 11 to 15. The primary is set for Aug. 4,

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

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