The lead budget writer in the Washington state Senate has died of lung cancer at age 54. Republican Andy Hill’s family announced his death Tuesday.
Hill was a lean, dark-haired and affable state Senator who was talked of as a potential gubernatorial candidate. When it came to the budget, he played up his personal frugality.
“I’m the kind of guy who with toothpaste I squeeze the tube as absolutely empty as I can get it and then I cut it open and scrape out the rest,” Hill said in 2014. “I think that is how I would approach budgeting this year.”
Never a smoker, Hill was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008. He beat it thanks to an experimental treatment. This year he took less of a public role in final budget negotiations. Then in June he announced the cancer had returned.
Hill was a graduate of the Harvard Business School, a former Microsoft employee and a youth soccer coach. He leaves behind his wife Molly and three children.
In a statement, Governor Jay Inslee called Hill a “strong champion for education and a compassionate advocate for people with disabilities.”
Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler said of Hill, “After his first recovery from cancer, he used his second chance at life to make Washington a better place to live.”
Hill lived in Redmond and represented Washington’s 45th legislative district. He was first elected in 2010 and then re-elected in 2014.