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Pam Roach has her desk back

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Jan. 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
January 11, 2011 2:29 pm

The senator will keep sitting at the desk on the Senate floor where she has been stationed for more than a decade. The Senate moved her to a new seat and gave hers to new Sen. Doug Ericksen, but Roach disputed the change.

The Auburn Republican was upset with GOP leadership Monday, saying the episode marred a day when she not only became the most senior member of the Senate, with 20 years in the chamber, but also found out a medical clinic would be named after her in Puerto Cortes, Honduras, where she does volunteer work.

After talking to most every Senate Republican about the move and getting it changed, Roach said the spat was over.

Roach prefers the seat near the wings because she feels safer there. She can “hide behind a marble pillar if somebody tries to shoot,” she said.

“I want to be able to get out fast,” she said.

Roach isn’t the only one in Olympia thinking about security threats after last weekend’s shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona. There has been talk about whether the Legislative Building has enough security. Count Roach as one who thinks there should be more.

There should be armed security guards in the legislative chambers, she said. But Roach, one of the biggest proponents of gun rights in the Senate, said putting metal detectors at the doors would be overkill.

Roach said, by the way, that she doesn’t pack heat at the Capitol. Some lawmakers do, she said.

UPDATE 2:30 p.m.: Ericksen said the desk tiff was much ado about nothing. A “bureaucratic snafu,” he called it.

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