Minnesota Senate GOP Picks New Majority Leader

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota Senate Republicans have a new leader. They chose Dave Senjem of Rochester Tuesday night.  He will replace Sen. Amy Koch, who resigned amid accusations she had an improper relationship with a male staffer.

The GOP caucus made the decision after a marathon session at a Roseville hotel that lasted nearly 11 hours.  All 37 Senate Republicans voted by secret ballot around 8 p.m. Tuesday.

As the announcement came in, the majority of the Senate caucus stood behind Sen. Senjem. The person who was noticeably absent was Sen. Koch. Senjem said she did cast a ballot.

Senjem said he’s honored to take over the position, but would not discuss why this election took 11 hours.  Whoever takes over the role will have a big say in two major issues this upcoming legislative session: Gambling expansion and the possibility of a publicly financed Vikings stadium. But Senjem and other senators said those issues were not the driving force in the decision, rather it was finding the best leader for the GOP senate caucus.

“Over the course of the last two weeks we’ve gone through a difficult period.  All directions now are looking forward, no more looking backward,” said Senjem, the newly-elected Senate Majority Leader.

The entire leadership team within the Senate Republican caucus will also change.  Senators Paul Gazelka, Ted Lillie, Roger Chamberlain and Claire Robling will take over as the new leadership team.

When asked why the change, Senjem said the former team volunteered to step down without any pressure.

More from Rachel Slavik
  • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/12/27/senjem-is-new-republican-majority-leader/ Senjem Is New Republican Majority Leader « CBS Minnesota

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  • Pundit

    I wonder if he is aware of the Republican platform:

    “Programs, such as public broadcasting, sports stadiums, and the arts, should be funded by its users and voluntary donors, and not subsidized by the use of taxpayer money.”

    If he wants the Republicans to prevail, he should force out out any member who doesn’t get this.

    • HeilHitler

      Get rid of all of thiose RINO’s. The members were not elected to represent their disctricts. Ungreatful buggers should know that they must blindly do whatever the non elected republican party tells them to do. We need more Stepford legislators.

  • Kevin

    Fat….Old…..White Guy…..GOP??? No way! I want a recount!!! From fat old chick to fat old guy…way to go GOP!!! You dont have my vote!

    • See BS

      Democrats are stuffy old white people too.

  • My goodness

    They probably selected him because he’s less likely to get into trouble, either verbally or in some other form.

  • My goodness

    Really, you don’t want to look backwards?!? I can’t imagine why not.

  • concerned voter

    Congrats Sen Senjum. You may look forward and try to forget the breaking of God’s commandment of adultry in God’s Own Party, the GOP, however, it’s not ending quite so fast no matter what you say.

    Recind the amendment. Traditional marriage is now a man, a woman, and another man. There are variations of course. Thanks to Amy.

    The Gays apologized for ruining her marriage, It’s printed in the City Pages. If her apology is enough, then so is theirs. Recind the amendment or her affair will continue through and past next November.


  • keel

    Not a Republican…but formerly from Rochester. Senjem’s a good guy.

  • I hate it when I am right

    I am never disappointed when I want to see hatred and vitriole I only need to come to WCChOe and look for a story about republicans and then read the comments. When did the democrats become so hateful and vitriolic? Instead of congratulating a guy and wishing him well knowing he has his hands full with our current economy and political divide, we get comments like 7 of the 9 above. Wow, what a sad state of discourse our country has become.

  • Truth BeTold......

    He must have drawn the short straw!

  • Murph

    GOP’ers are either big and fat or new on the job! Sickening display of greed at it’s worst!

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