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No repercussions, so far, for Sen. Jim Kastama

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Jan. 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
January 10, 2011 4:57 pm

After his effort to prevent the seating of a member of his own party failed, Sen. Jim Kastama said he hasn’t seen a backlash from his party’s leaders.

Senate leaders have kept him on the budget committee, the Puyallup Democrat pointed out, and as chair of a committee on economic development.

“There have been no repercussions,” he said. “I think my colleagues, I would say that probably a majority have come up and say they very much respect the argument that I put forward.”

They didn’t give him their votes, though. Only two centrist Democrats, Sens. Steve Hobbs and Tim Sheldon, backed him in a procedural vote on whether consider his resolution to not seat Nick Harper in the Senate. Fifteen Republicans joined them, all but Steve Litzow and Pam Roach, for a vote of 23-18.

As for Harper himself, he said he doesn’t hold it against Kastama that he tried to deny Harper a Senate seat. The new senator, who was sworn in after the vote, said he’s glad the controversy came out in the open and can now be put aside. Kastama made pains in his speech to say he wasn’t targeting Harper, just the tactics used by his supporters.

“It was clear based on Sen. Kastama’s statement that this was a very personal issue for members, and it needed to be discussed,” Harper said.

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