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GOP senators vie for leadership posts; elections on tap at 8:30 this morning

Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, finalizes the agenda for a GOP caucus meeting on Monday morning, Jan. 8, 2018, at the Idaho State Capitol. The Senate GOP caucus will hold leadership elections, after former Majority Leader Bart Davis left the Senate to become U.S. Attorney for Idaho. (Betsy Z. Russell)
Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, finalizes the agenda for a GOP caucus meeting on Monday morning, Jan. 8, 2018, at the Idaho State Capitol. The Senate GOP caucus will hold leadership elections, after former Majority Leader Bart Davis left the Senate to become U.S. Attorney for Idaho. (Betsy Z. Russell)

The campaigning is on this morning for Senate GOP leadership posts, with four senators vying for majority caucus chair and two for assistant majority leader. Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, is unopposed thus far to succeed former Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, but additional candidates still could step forward during this morning’s Senate GOP caucus, which starts at 8:30.

Caucus Chair Sen. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa, is running for assistant majority leader, as is Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens.

The four declared candidates for GOP caucus chair are Sens. Fred Martin, R-Boise; Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene; Kelly Anthon, R-Burley; and Cliff Bayer, R-Boise.

Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, said he’s “thrilled” at all the interest in the posts. “I think it’s great,” he said. “There’s not anyone there I’m not willing to work with.”

The voting will start with the higher-up positions first; anyone who loses for one of those is then still free to run for one of the lower posts. And it’ll take a majority – 15 votes in the caucus – to elect a senator to any of the posts. So in the four-way race, if no one has a majority on the first ballot, the lowest vote-getter will be dropped for a second ballot, and then again if needed until there’s a majority.



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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