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SALT LAKE CITY -- With less than a week until the 2010 session, a new Utah Senate majority leader has been elected by Republican legislators.
The change was made Wednesday morning following Sheldon Killpack's resignation. Sen. Killpack was serving as Senate majority leader but resigned from the Legislature after a DUI arrest last week.According to the Senate's website, Sen. Scott Jenkins has been selected to replace Killpack, as expected. The Republican from Plain City ran unopposed for the position after Sen. Curt Bramble dropped out, saying he didn't want to create divisiveness in the Senate caucus.
Jenkins talked to KSL Monday about what needs to be done now in the Senate; that includes picking up Killpack's work on a slew of ethics bills that are filed. More news on that will be coming, especially in light of an ethics initiative that is currently circulating.Sen. Wayne Niederhauser, a Sandy Republican who had been serving as assistant whip, will replace Jenkins as the majority whip.
Sen. Pete Knudson, a Brigham City Republican who has served as majority leader in the past, will serve as assistant whip in the Senate. Those are the people who assist in collecting and counting votes and working to change minds on bills, if necessary.
What this means is a change in leadership style, not necessarily in what will happen in the Senate. They work as a team and say they will continue on; however, all of them admit they will miss Sheldon Killpack's leadership, and his friendship.
Senate leadership is set to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon to talk about what this new leadership team means.