State Sen. Andy Hill (R-45th) lost his second battle with cancer Monday. He was just 54.
Hill was a respected legislator regardless of party. He was given credit for co-writing recent state budgets during contentious times.
Elected in 2010, he was midway through his second term.
Party leaders will appoint someone to fill his vacancy for the remaining two years of his term.
Hill’s death leaves the State Senate evenly split now, 24-24. Republicans previously held the majority because State Sen. Tim Sheldon, a Democrat, caucused with the GOP to give them control.
This makes the Senate races in two districts that include Sammamish especially important.
The 5th LD sees incumbent Democrat Mark Mullet facing a strong challenge by Republic Chad Magendanz. In the 41st, incumbent Republic Steve Litzow faces a strong challenge by Democrat Lisa Wellman. Both races were too close in the August primary to project the likely winner in next week’s general election.
The 5th LD includes the greater Klahanie area. The 41st includes roughly the southern half of Sammamish south of SE 8th.