Political Beat

Why Rep. Christopher Hurst missed votes in 2014

When WashingtonVotes.org released its annual tally of lawmakers’ missed votes during the 2014 legislative session, it showed a relatively good attendance record in Olympia this year.

The list, reported on by The Columbian and others, also showed that Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, missed 98 votes out of 515 House roll calls. But the report didn’t include a response from Hurst himself.

This week, one of Hurst’s assistants provided the explanation for those missed votes. Hurst’s mother passed away just before the start of the session, legislative assistant Caitlin Lopez said in an email. He missed time while grieving and dealing with the responsibilities that come with the death of a parent, she said.

Among Clark County lawmakers, Sen. Annette Cleveland missed the most votes with 31 out of 396 roll calls in the Senate. Most of those votes happened Feb. 12, when the Vancouver Democrat traveled to Salem, Ore., to testify in favor of the Columbia River Crossing before an Oregon legislative committee.

Other local legislators missed few or no votes during the 2014 session, according to the report.

Eric Florip

I'm the environment/transportation reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. Contact me at eric.florip@columbian.com or 360-735-4541.

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