Community Government

Caldier returns to House Republican Caucus after leadership change

Posted on April 26th, 2023 By:

Rep. JT Wilcox, R-Yelm

Rep. Michelle Caldier, R-Gig Harbor, returned to the House Republican Caucus this week after Rep. J.T. Wilcox, R-Yelm, stepped down as its leader. 

Caldier left the caucus late last year, citing a conflict with its leadership. The conflict involved what Caldier said was insufficient accommodations to help her serve while experiencing vision loss.

Wilcox served as caucus leader for six years. He told TVW that he had been planning for the 2023 session to be his final as leader. He remains a member of the House. 

Wilcox said he stepped down as leader to “make room for new leadership.” 

“I’ve got very, very talented leaders” in the Republican Caucus, Wilcox told TVW. “I think there are at least a handful of people who will be better at this job than I am.” 

The caucus selected Rep. Drew Stokesbary of Auburn as its new leader and Rep. Mike Steele of Chelan as deputy leader.  

Caldier said she has a good relationship with both.  

“We’ve had a number of discussions,” she said. “There was an overwhelming desire for me to come back to the caucus. As I stated before, my issue was the previous leadership, which has now changed. I feel very comfortable that the issues I’ve had with disability accommodations will be addressed.”