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The Latest: Wash. House Democrats elect 1st female speaker

July 31, 2019
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FILE - In this Jan 21, 2016 file photo, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, speaks during a committee hearing at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Jinkins is one of the candidates vying to become speaker of the House in Washington state as House Democrats are poised to elect the first woman to the position in history when they take a scheduled vote at a caucus meeting Wednesday, July 31, 2019 in Seattle. The selection must then be approved by the full House at the start of the 2020 legislative session in January. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
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FILE - In this Jan 21, 2016 file photo, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, speaks during a committee hearing at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Jinkins is one of the candidates vying to become speaker of the House in Washington state as House Democrats are poised to elect the first woman to the position in history when they take a scheduled vote at a caucus meeting Wednesday, July 31, 2019 in Seattle. The selection must then be approved by the full House at the start of the 2020 legislative session in January. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — The Latest on election of a new speaker of the House in Washington state (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

Democrats have elected the first female speaker of the House in Washington state.

State Rep. Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma was chosen Wednesday after a caucus meeting and vote at a hotel conference room in SeaTac, Washington. She was one of four women representatives seek the top spot after Frank Chopp, the state’s longest-serving speaker, announced he was stepping down from his leadership position but would remain in the Legislature.

Democratic Rep. John Lovick has been serving as acting speaker since May, and will remain in that role until the speaker-designate is approved by the full House at the start of the 2020 legislative session in January.

Democrats hold a 57-41 majority in the House, and women — with 31 seats — hold a majority within the caucus.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven states currently have female speakers of the House: Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont.

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5 a.m.

House Democrats are poised to elect the first woman speaker of the House in Washington state.

State Reps. Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma, June Robinson of Everett, Gael Tarleton of Seattle and Monica Stonier of Vancouver are all vying for the top spot after Frank Chopp, the state’s longest-serving speaker, announced he was stepping down from his leadership position but would remain in the Legislature. During Wednesday’s scheduled caucus meeting and vote, additional members can be nominated for the speaker-designate position.

Democratic Rep. John Lovick has been serving as acting speaker since May, and will remain in that role until the speaker-designate is approved by the full House at the start of the 2020 legislative session in January.

Democrats hold a 57-41 majority in the House, and women — with 31 seats — hold a majority within the caucus.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, seven states currently have female speakers of the House: Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon and Vermont.

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