Washington to choose first new lieutenant governor since 1997

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — For the first time in two decades, a new lieutenant governor will hold the gavel in the Washington state Senate.

Voters will decide in November between a Democratic state senator and a Republican real estate agent, pastor and conservative talk show host.

Sen. Cyrus Habib of Bellevue and Marty McClendon of Gig Harbor advanced through the state's crowded top two primaries in August.

The winner will replace the retiring Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat who has held the post since 1997.

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