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Senate Majority leader bows out of election

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom has told his caucus that he won't be running for re-election this year.

Tom, a Democrat from Medina, leads the predominantly Republican Majority Coalition. In an email sent to the Senate Monday, Tom cited health and family concerns for his decision.

Tom said that it was "an incredible honor" to serve in the Legislature for the past 12 years. Tom helped Republicans take control of the Senate after the formation of the new coalition at the end of 2012. With the help of another Democrat, Tim Sheldon of Potlach, the coalition currently holds a 26-23 majority in the Senate.

About half of the Senate is up for re-election in November, including Tom's seat. Democrat Joan McBride, the former mayor of Kirkland, had already announced she was running against him.

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