Republican caucus waits to pick Senate president, names McGaha as fill-in on LRC panel

11/01/2012 03:31 PM

Senate Republicans will wait until after the elections to make their pick for the next Senate president but did fill in former Senate President David Williams’ spot on the Legislative Research Commission with retiring Sen. Vernie McGaha on Thursday.

The Senate Republican majority caucus met Thursday afternoon — with most of them cramming into the Senate leadership’s annex office, to organize themselves in the wake of Gov. Steve Beshear appointing Williams to be a circuit judge in Williams’ home area of Cumberland County.

Senate President Pro Tem Katie Kratz Stine, R-Southgate, will step up to temporarily take Williams’ role during meetings of the LRC, which is the governing body of the legislative branch. The full Senate can’t select a new permanent Senate President until the General Assembly convenes in January. The majority party in each chamber has five spots on the Legislative Research Commission, so McGaha of Russell Springs, who decided not to run again this year, will take that fifth spot for the rest of the year.

The Republican Senate Caucus met for half an hour privately with Williams. Then Williams left for the group to discuss their organizational matters.

Sen. Robert Stivers, R-Manchaster, has expressed an interest in running for the Senate Presidency when the caucus elects new leadership in December next year. Stivers said after the meeting that there was no talk of leadership changes when the group met Thursday.

When pressed by reporters gathered in Stivers office he said he hopes to be elected as Senate President and as far as he knows he is unopposed in the position. Stine said she hopes to keep her position as Senate President Pro Tem, and she would back Stivers with her vote for Senate President.

Stivers said the body is not interested in leadership races at this time to keep their focus on the upcoming Election Tuesday.

There is expected to be at least one LRC meeting in the next two months before the session.


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