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Mid-Columbia lawmaker suffers heart attack

State Rep. Bill Jenkin, R-Prosser, will miss a portion of the 2019 Legislature after suffering an apparent heart attack over the weekend.
State Rep. Bill Jenkin, R-Prosser, will miss a portion of the 2019 Legislature after suffering an apparent heart attack over the weekend. AP

Washington Rep. Bill Jenkin, R-Prosser, will miss some of the 2019 Legislature after suffering a heart attack Friday evening.

Jenkin is recovering at home after undergoing quadruple bypass surgery at Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, according to a statement released by his caucus Wednesday.

The House Republican Caucus said Jenkin is expected to return before the end of the 105-day session that started earlier this month.

Jenkin thanked well-wishers and said he is on the way to a full recovery following successful surgery.

“I know how important it is as your state representative to be present in Olympia for committee hearings, debates and votes on the bills and issues that matter most to our district, and the state of Washington. I look forward to getting back to work soon,” he said.

jenkin
State Rep. Bill Jenkin, R-Prosser

Until then, fellow Republicans in the House are temporarily filling Jenkin’s seats on the various committees he serves.

Jenkin, a former Prosser businessman, won a second term representing the 16th Legislative District in Olympia in November.

He previously served on the Prosser School Board but resigned after being elected to succeed Maureen Walsh when she ran to represent the same district in the Senate. The 16th extends from Walla Walla to Prosser, skirting the Tri-Cities to the north.

In Olympia, Jenkin is the ranking Republican on the House Housing, Community Development and Veterans Committee, and serves on the House Capital Budget and House Commerce and Gaming committees.

Rep. Chris Gildon, R-Puyallup, is filling his leadership role on the Housing, Community Development and Veterans Committee. Rep. Chris Corry, R-Yakima, is filling Gildon’s seat on the same committee.

Rep. Matt Boehnke, a Kennewick Republican, is filling his place on the Capital Budget committee. And Rep. Jeremie Deugault, R-Selah, is filling in on the Commerce and Gaming Committee.

Jenkin also serves as deputy whip for the caucus, ensuring meetings follow protocol and that members attend key floor sessions when critical legislation is being heard.

Colleagues sent well wishes in a Tweet Wednesday morning.

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