Read Jerry Cornfield’s (Everett Herald) interview with Speaker Frank Chopp earlier this week:

Q&A: State House speaker on taxes, death penalty, harassment

Democrat Frank Chopp has had the speaker title since 1999, and he says he’s not retiring this year.

  • by Jerry Cornfield, Wednesday, January 24, 2018 5:28pm

OLYMPIA — Since the turn of the century, no one’s dominated the legislating landscape quite like state House Speaker Frank Chopp.

In his reign, the Seattle Democrat has thwarted Republicans, frustrated governors and, at some point, angered most if not every member of his caucus during the past 18 sessions for quashing one or more of their initiatives.

Under the Capitol dome, his wizardry of the political craft is unequalled. He became co-speaker in 1999, when the two parties shared power. He’s been the only speaker since 2002 and is the longest to serve in the post in state history.

There are whispers he’ll quit when his term ends this year — which makes him laugh.

“I clearly am going to run for re-election,” he said in a recent conversation. “Absolutely.”

There were few other absolutes in a dialogue that touched on gun control, the death penalty, the House’s handling of sexual harassment allegations and whether he’s ever been accused of inappropriate behavior.

Here are excerpts, edited for clarity and space.

Question: Let’s talk guns. Is a ban on bump stocks going to get through the House?

Answer: That’s a possibility.

Q: Do you support it?

A: Yes, I represent my district and they definitely would support that.

Q: Do you want to see other gun bills like safe storage get to the governor’s desk?

A: I think there is enough support to do some things but we’ll have to see the details. We are working on the core issues of education, health care and jobs and then we’ll see how those other ones play out.”

 

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Washington State House Democrats

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