Washington State Republican Senator Andy Hill was battling lung cancer.
Washington State Republican Senator Andy Hill was battling lung cancer. Washington state legislature

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Andy Hill, the Redmond state senator who led contentious budget writing efforts on behalf of Republicans in Olympia last year, has died of lung cancer, according to a statement sent to media from fellow state senator Joe Fain.

Hill worked at Microsoft for 11 years and had served in the state senate since 2010. Fain's statement says Hill was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008, though he never smoked. Hill announced this summer that the cancer had returned.

Hill was not up for reelection this year. Republicans in the 45th Legislative District, covering Redmond, Kirkland, and other nearby areas, will now appoint his replacement.

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During the most recent legislative session, Hill led the state GOP's budget negotiations and took a hard line against new taxes—an effort Democrats criticized. While Hill caucused with a Republican party that has allowed anti-woman and anti-LGBTQ legislation to move through the state senate, he also bucked the party and voted against an anti-trans bathroom bill in February.

"He spoke often about how much he loved the people and communities he represented and how honored he was to serve them," Fain wrote in his statement. "He knew that we are faced with difficult and often partisan challenges, but he was always uplifted by the work of those who crossed party lines to solve problems."

Hill is survived by his wife and three children. A memorial service will be held November 11 in Redmond. Governor Jay Inslee offered condolences in a statement, calling Hill a "dedicated legislator who served with distinction."

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