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Saturday, January 5, 1991 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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State Senator May Resign Seat For Reserve Duty

State Sen. Mike Kreidler will soon become Lt. Col. Mike Kreidler. And that means, for awhile at least, his wife Lela may become the senator in the family.

Kreidler, an Olympia Democrat, is expected to temporarily resign from his legislative seat next week because his Army reserve unit - the 6250 U.S. Army Hospital Reserve - has been called up to active duty, according to the Senate Democratic Caucus.

Kreidler, 47, has been in the Senate 14 years. He is to report for duty Tuesday.

Kreidler's call-up is believed to mark the first time since World War II that a state legislator has been pressed into active military duty. And it also may be the first time that a 37-year-old law allowing legislators to temporarily give up their seat has been used.

Marty Brown, staff director for the Senate Democrats, said Kreidler, an optometrist, will serve on medical duty at Madigan Army Hospital near Tacoma. Brown said Kreidler and others in his unit will serve as replacements for people who have been called up for active duty in Operation Desert Shield from Madigan Army Hospital and members of the 50th Army Reserve Unit from Fort Lawton.

Under a never-used 1953 law, Thurston County commissioners can appoint a temporary replacement for Kreidler. In this case, the replacement could serve until the 1992 election. However, when Kreidler returns from active duty he can reclaim his seat. While names of several possible replacements have been mentioned, Kreidler said he would recommend his wife, whom he described as his closest political confidant.

Copyright (c) 1991 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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