- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Republican Sen. Mark Schoesler of Ritzville is the new Senate majority leader.

Schoesler was elected by his caucus on Monday to serve a two-year legislative term. He replaces retiring Democratic Sen. Rodney Tom as head of the mostly Republican Majority Coalition Caucus.

Republicans gained outright control of the Senate in the November election, and now have 25 seats to hold the majority, but are retaining the name of the Majority Coalition Caucus. Democrat Tim Sheldon, of Potlach, will continue to be a member of that caucus and will serve as Senate Pro Tempore.

Schoesler was elected to the House in 1992, and was later elected to the Senate in 2006.

The 105-day legislative session begins Jan. 12.

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