Washington state set to swear in first blind lieutenant governor

Washington state set to swear in first blind lieutenant governor
California Gov. Jerry Brown

[Ed. – To go with all the other blind leaders of blue states.]

As Washington state prepares to swear in its first blind lieutenant governor, the Senate has undergone a makeover that incorporates Braille into that chamber’s floor sessions.

On a recent day just weeks before the start of the legislative session that begins Monday, the desks of 49 senators got an upgrade: a system that will allow Lt. Gov.-elect Cyrus Habib to know by the touch of his finger which lawmaker is seeking to be recognized to speak.

“I’m really excited to show the public, particularly school children, that anything is possible,” Habib said Thursday, just hours after testing the system out.

Habib, a 35-year-old attorney who completely lost his eyesight to cancer at age 8, was first elected to the state House in 2012 and won a state Senate seat in 2014. In November he beat Republican Marty McClendon to replace Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, a Democrat who is retiring after holding the post since 1997. Habib will be sworn in on Wednesday.

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