Wash. GOP Senate leader has tumor in abdomen



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The top Republican in the state Senate is undergoing surgery to remove a tumor in his abdomen.

Walla Walla Sen. Mike Hewitt said in a statement Friday that the thymoma tumor was only recently discovered. He is set to undergo surgery on Monday.

Hewitt says he is very optimistic about the outcome and expects to be back at work soon after spending a couple days recovering at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. The medical procedure comes as top lawmakers, including Hewitt, have been working to finalize a long-sought budget deal.

Hewitt was first elected to the Senate in 2000 and rose to become Senate Republican Leader in 2005. Hewitt and his wife have two grown sons.