Sequim Gazette staff
State Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, will succeed Rep. Sharon Tomiko Santos, of Seattle, as House majority whip.
House Democrats elected their caucus leaders and picked Van De Wege, who was re-elected to his third term in November.
Van De Wege said the position of whip is mostly behind-the-scenes to help the Legislature run smoothly and efficiently.
Van De Wege previously served as deputy majority whip and assistant majority whip and said he has been looking forward to serving as majority whip.
"I'm honored that my colleagues have entrusted me with this new responsibility," he said.
The position does not come with a raise in pay.
The majority whip helps manage member and staff relations, organizes member attendance, helps tally and sway votes and ensures new members are up to speed on process and procedure.
"It's all stuff I enjoy and if it's done efficiently and effectively, it really helps the whole House move forward," Van De Wege said.
House Democratic Caucus communications specialist Jennifer Waldref said Van De Wege's position will ensure the 24th District has a voice in leadership meetings and decisions.
During the last term, retiring 24th District Rep. Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, served as House majority leader. She will be replaced as majority leader by 47th District Rep. Pat Sullivan, of Covington.
Van De Wege will be joined by Steve Tharinger, D-Sequim, a Clallam County commissioner who won Kessler's seat in November's election.