Republicans give Wilcox leadership role

Fresh from being re-elected for a second term without opposition, state Rep. J.T. Wilcox has another feather in his political cap: A leadership position among Republican legislators. Republican members of the House of Representatives last week voted to make Wilcox their floor leader and a member of the caucus' leadership team. As floor leader, Wilcox will be responsible for developing and implementing floor strategy during legislative debate. In addition, as part of his party's leadership, he will help set legislative priorities and create a plan to adopt policies supported by the caucus. "I'm humbled to be elected by my peers to the leadership team," said Wilcox, who lives in Yelm and represents the Second District, which includes the Graham and Eatonville areas. "I'm proud to be a part of this team, working for the values that bond us with all the residents of Washington GÇô sound financial decisions, efficient government and accountability to the people." Wilcox said he wants to work with fellow Republicans and Democrats "across the aisle to pass policies that will be good for the people of Washington, both now and for years to come." Wilcox will begin his second term as a state representative Jan. 14, the first day of the 2013 session of the Legislature. The session is scheduled for 105 days. No candidate ran against Wilcox in this year's election. He was elected in 2010 in his first try for public office. Previously, he helped run his family-owned business, Wilcox Farms. Joining Wilcox in the Second District delegation are Rep. Gary Alexander and Sen. Randi Becker, both Republicans. Alexander has been a state representative since 1996. He's changing constituencies from the 20th District in Thurston County, where he lives, to the redrawn Second, which now includes part of Thurston and Pierce counties, after his victory over Democrat Greg Hartman, a Renton firefighter from Graham, in the general election this month.-á Alexander said he "will be honoredGÇ¥ to serve a new constituency. In addition to Eatonville and Graham, the Second District includes the communities of Lacey, Yelm, Rainier, Mckenna, Roy, Orting, La Grande, Elbe and Ashford.-á Alexander, 68, also is an Olympia Port Commissioner and a deputy auditor of Thurston County. Becker won her second four-year term in the Senate by beating Democrat Bruce Lachney. She also had a Republican challenger in the primary election last August. Becker, who lives in the Eatonville area, said last week that she is looking forward to again representing the Second District and working on a wide variety of issues. "I couldn't be more excited,GÇ¥ she said. "My goal in the Legislature is to be an honest, respectful voice for our region, and my door is always open to constituents.GÇ¥ Noting that her office regularly assists constituents in dealing with state agencies, Becker said she welcomes contact by e-mail, telephone or postal regarding questions or concerns about state government. She also encourages anyone interested to contact her office and sign up to receive her legislative newsletter that is sent out weekly via e-mail during legislative sessions and monthly when the Legislature is adjourned. Becker has served as the lead Republican on the Senate's Health and Long-term Care Committee. She also is a member of the higher education and agriculture committees.-á New committee assignments for legislators will be made in advance of the 2013 session. For the first time in eight years, Jim McCune won't be representing the Second District as a state representative. He was left out of the district in the redistricting process earlier this year. Instead of seeking re-election to the Legislature, McCune, a Republican from Graham, was elected this month to the Pierce County Council. During the campaign, McCune said he was honored to have served in the Legislature but was "looking forward to a new adventure.GÇ¥


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