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Republicans choose new Utah Senate leaders

By Richard Piatt | Posted - Jan. 20, 2010 at 12:00 p.m.



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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.

**Who is… Wayne Niederhauser?**
![](http://media.bonnint.net/slc/1723/172326/17232642.jpg)• A Republican member of the Utah State Senate, representing the 9th district in Sandy since 2006 • The new Senate Majority Whip • Certified Public Accountant; Small Business Owner; Real Estate Developer • Earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Accounting from Utah State University
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.

**Who is… Pete Knudson?**
![](http://media.bonnint.net/slc/1723/172326/17232673.jpg)• A Republican member of the Utah State Senate, representing the 17th district in Brighman City since 1999 • The new assistant Whip • Orthodontist • Earned a Bachelor of Science from Utah State University and the University of Utah • Earned Doctor of Dental Surgery, University of the Pacific, School of Dentistry • Earned Master of Science, Loyola University • Earned Certificate of Specialty (Orthodontics), Loyola School of Dentistry
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.

E-mail: rpiatt@ksl.com

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Richard Piatt

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