Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, has won former Sen. Brad Little’s leadership post as Senate majority caucus chairman, in a two-way race against Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Post Falls. “It’s always an honor when your peers choose you, so I’m very honored,” Fulcher said. “However, the attitude this year is a somber one, because of the economic situation and what’s all coming before us.”
The leadership change will force some switches in Senate committee assignments - Fulcher is on JFAC, a seat he’ll have to give up. Senate President Pro-Tem Bob Geddes said the seat on the key budget-writing committee will be awarded in the morning. “We’re going to let people sweat overnight about that seat,” he said with a chuckle. Asked how much interest he’s gotten in it so far, he said, “There’s plenty.” The leadership change also will ripple through committee assignments, as will Little’s departure from the Senate to preside over it as the state’s new lieutenant governor. And if a House member is appointed to Little’s Senate seat, that’d mean changes in committee assignments over there, too, though that wouldn’t come until after the appointment process is completed. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, said the Senate will work out its committee assignments and seating changes and go on the floor by 11:30 a.m. tomorrow.