Senator Ed Murray will become the second openly LGBT person to lead a state senate chamber after being chosen as majority leader of the Washington state senate late yesterday, the Victory Fund reports:
Murray, 57, was first elected to the Senate in 2006 after serving 11 years in the Wash. House of Representatives. He was a leading voice in favor of passage of the state’s marriage equality bill, which voters affirmed last week.
“We have work to do in Olympia – prioritizing education, creating jobs for the middle class, and ensuring Washingtonians have the health care they need. And one of our challenges in a closely divided chamber is to ensure that the Senate is able to fulfill its obligation to govern the state, in tandem with Gov.-elect Jay Inslee and the House. These are not simple challenges, but they are solvable. We can find solutions that work for all of Washington,” Murray said in a release tonight.
The first state senate leader was the late Allan Spear of Minnesota, the VF notes, who served 28 years in that state's legislature, retiring in 2000.
Other out gay lawmakers currently leading their chambers are Assembly Speaker John Perez in California, House Speaker Gordon D. Fox in Rhode Island, and incoming House Speaker Mark Ferrandino in Colorado.