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Washington Sen. Doug Ericksen dies

Doug Ericksen, who hadn't been heard from since he was reportedly in Florida being treated for COVID-19, died Dec. 17.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state Senator Doug Ericksen, 52, (R-Whatcom County) died on Friday, according information shared with the Senate Republican Caucus. 

A statement from Ericksen's wife and daughters was shared with Senate Republicans:

"We are heartbroken to share that our husband and father passed away on Friday, Dec. 17. Please keep our family in your prayers and thank you for continuing to respect our privacy in this extremely difficult time."

The Caucus is expected to release additional information as it comes in.

Gov. Jay Inslee issued the following statement shortly after news of Ericksen's death: "Trudi and I send our deep condolences to Sen. Doug Ericksen's family, friends and colleagues. Our hearts are with them."

Senate Republican leader John Braun (R-Centralia) released this statement: "I am deeply saddened by the news that Doug passed away yesterday. My prayers and thoughts are with his wife, Tasha, and his daughters. Doug could be larger than life and our caucus will miss him greatly. He was passionate about his duties as a member of the Legislature and dedicated to his constituents."

Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) released this statement:

“I wish peace and comfort for Sen. Ericksen’s family. His passing at such a young age is tragic. I served with Sen. Ericksen for more than a decade, and got to know him well over that time. While we often disagreed on policy, I respected his long service to his community. My colleagues and I in the Senate Democratic Caucus mourn tonight with his family and friends.”

Prior to his death, no information had been made available for weeks about the senator's location or condition.

Ericksen wrote to legislative colleagues in November saying he tested positive for COVID-19 in El Salvador and needed monoclonal antibodies. 

When asked about the senator's status on Dec. 13, a Republican Senate liaison told KING 5 it was a "family matter."

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