Cyrus Habib elected state’s next lieutenant governor

OLYMPIA — Democratic state Sen. Cyrus Habib has been elected as Washington state’s next lieutenant governor.

Habib, of Bellevue, will replace current Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, who is retiring from the office after two decades.

The second highest position in the state, the lieutenant governor is best known as the president of the Senate and presides over that chamber during the legislative sessions, ensuring that protocol is followed and weighing in on parliamentary questions that arise during debate. And in case of a tie in the chamber, the lieutenant governor would cast the deciding vote.

Less frequently, the office is called to fill in for the governor when the head of state is away or incapacitated. In Washington — as in more than a dozen other states — the lieutenant governor is elected separately from the office of governor.

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