In wake of domestic terrorism allegations, future for Rep. Shea remains unclear
As the new legislative session kicks off, the future of embattled state Rep. Matt Shea in the Washington House of Representatives remains largely uncertain.
A recent report commissioned by the House alleges Shea participated in acts of domestic terrorism, a claim he’s denied. He’s since been expelled from the Republican caucus, leaving his ability to participate in day-to-day duties in doubt.
“It is very difficult for me to understand how he can effectively represent the people of Spokane County,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “I’m hoping he (chooses to resign) upon reflection when he realizes he just can’t do the job when you’re shunned by your colleagues, when you’re no longer committee chair, when you’re not even a member of a caucus.”
“The people of Spokane deserve better,” he added.
Amidst calls for his resignation, Shea has been resolute in his plan to remain in office. That said, some have advocated to kick him out of the Legislature altogether.
“Matt Shea should resign, and if he does not resign, he should be expelled,” said newly-appointed House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, noting that expulsion would require a two-thirds majority vote.
Jinkins stopped short of making any predictions as to Shea’s fate. On the other side of the aisle, Republican minority leader J.T. Wilcox has also stated his desire for Shea to resign, but stopped short on the idea of expelling him entirely.
“It’s up to the voters to decide who’s in the chamber,” said Rep. Wilcox.
If he’s not expelled, Shea would be up for reelection before the end of his term in January 2021. All indications from his office suggest he plans on pursuing that path.