Colleagues and public officials of both political parties issued statements of condolence today on the death of state Sen. Mike Carrell of Lakewood. He died this morning at age 69 from myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS.
“Mike passed today at about 10:35 am, very peacefully in his sleep, at UW hospital, with his wife Charlotte nearby, of lung complications from his pre-cancer treatment,” said Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville.
Carrell served in the Washington State House of Representatives for 10 years before his successive elections to the Senate in 2004, 2008 and 2012. This year’s session saw him holding even more prominence as a member of the Majority Coalition Caucus that took control of the Senate by adding two Democrats to the Republican side.
“Mike was passionate about public service,” said Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy, a Democrat. “He worked hard to hold state government accountable for its spending and decisions, and he was dedicated to protecting our communities by fixing gaps in the criminal justice system.”
There is no overt discussion yet of the political implications from the loss of one member of the governing Majority Coalition as the Legislature works toward finding a budget for the next biennium. On a strict vote count, his death would appear to push the Senate closer to a deadlock on its proposed budget, which differs from that offered by majority Democrats in the House of Representatives by approximately $1 billion.
Less than two weeks remain in the special session called to resolve the differences.