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.

Comments (12)
  1. Pundit says:

    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.

    1. HeilHitler says:

      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.

  2. Kevin says:

    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!

    1. See BS says:

      Democrats are stuffy old white people too.

  3. My goodness says:

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

  4. My goodness says:

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

  5. concerned voter says:

    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.


  6. keel says:

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

  7. I hate it when I am right says:

    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.

  8. Truth BeTold...... says:

    He must have drawn the short straw!

  9. Murph says:

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

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Watch & Listen LIVE