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Originally published Monday, April 2, 2012 at 5:30 PM

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WA GOP Senate leader has surgery to remove tumor

The state Senate's top Republican is resting and his prognosis is good after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor in his abdomen.

The Associated Press

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

The state Senate's top Republican is resting and his prognosis is good after undergoing surgery to remove a tumor in his abdomen.

Walla Walla Sen. Mike Hewitt had surgery Monday at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle to remove a recently discovered thymoma tumor.

Senate Republican spokeswoman Rebecca Japhet said Hewitt's tumor was contained and removed in its entirety.

She was unsure how long he'll remain in the hospital. Previously, Hewitt said he expected to recuperate for a couple days.

The medical procedure comes as top lawmakers, including Hewitt, have been working to finalize a long-sought budget deal.

A gregarious fiscal conservative who is generally well-liked by both Democrats and Republicans, Hewitt was first elected to the Senate in 2000 and rose to become Senate Republican Leader in 2005.

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