We’ve received word from Little Ocmulgee State Park down south Georgia, where state Senate Republicans have gathered and elected a new leadership team:
– David Shafer of Duluth beat Bill Cowsert of Athens in the contest for president pro tem, the No. 1 leadership position in the Senate. The current Senate president pro tem, Tommie Williams of Lyons, announced earlier this year that he would not seek another two-year term;
– Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock withdrew his re-election bid and endorsed Ronnie Chance of Tyrone, the governor’s floor leader, for the position.
– and Cecil Staton won re-election as majority whip.
No vote totals available yet. We’re told that changes in Senate rules – which could determine the extent of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s authority over the chamber – will be tackled next month.
Updated at 5 p.m.: This press release from Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers shows one of the more obvious face-saving maneuvers that took place today — emphasis mine:
“I am honored to have served four years in leading the Republican Majority. After months of consideration I ultimately decided that the toll of serving my Caucus was taking too much from my family. While I had no challengers for the position of Majority Leader, the decision was still clear to me. Leadership positions should never become permanent and I am very supportive of our new Majority Leader and my good friend, Senator Chance,” said Senator Rogers.
Senator Ronnie Chance, who announced his candidacy after Senator Rogers decided not to run for re-election, applauded the years of service Senator Rogers gave to the Republican Majority.
“I have been honored to support Senator Rogers and appreciate his successful service as our Majority Leader. He is a close personal friend, and after his decision to step-down I was honored to receive his full support. For this I am sincerely grateful,” said Senator Chance.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider