With the twin resignations of Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dan Lederman, and Majority Leader Tim Rave coming like a 1-2 punch, there’s a new void in Senate Legislative Leadership that even the Democrats couldn’t have envisioned were they competent or effective in winning elections.
President Pro Tempore Corey Brown is still there as leader of the Senate, but there’s no one to help steer the Republican Caucus. It’s as if the steering mechanism has now come off of the ship, leaving Senate Republicans in a position where they now need to seek amongs themselves the people who will be their rudder.
Will they look to their current whips, Senators Holien, Ernie Otten, or Deb Soholt? Or will they look to the ranks of the Senators – many of whom have significant experience, but aren’t in one of the six official leadership positions?
Who else does that leave for them to choose from? The list….
Jenna Haggar, Blake Curd, Bob Ewing, Brock Greenfield, Terri Haverly, Phyllis Heineman, Phil Jensen, Jeff Monroe, David Novstrup, Craig Tieszen, Larry Tidemann, Alan Solano, Bruce Rampelberg, Betty Olson, David Omdahl, Ernie Otten, Deb Peters, Art Rusch, Bill Van Gerpen, Jim White, Gary Cammack and Mike Vehle.
If you peruse the list, the thing that strikes me is that there’s a lot of new people there. As well as some busy ones.
Blake Curd might be a choice, but given how busy he is with his own new position, I’m somewhat doubtful he has an interest in dividing his time further. Tieszen, Vehle and Tidemann had ran or expressed interest in leadership positions previously. And you have people like Deb Peters, who while not leadership at the moment has been a point person on caucus election efforts – some of these Senators are Senators because she made it happen.
There’s a particular political functionality and increased level of partisanship that goes with the leadership positions. They have to be able to build a coalition within the caucus between those that lean to the middle, as well as those that are hard right. They are peacemaker, as well as messenger for the gods… or at least the one that resides on the second floor.
Depending on what happens, with the departure of the Majority & Assistant Leaders, this caucus could also become more prickly, depending who is in charge. There are definitely a few possibilities who march to the beat of their own drummer, and interpret the Republican Party Platform in a more strict fashion.
What do you think? With the voids to be filled, who will emerge to lead the State Senate Republican Caucus? Where do they seek their rudder?