Senate Republicans reshuffle leadership team

Senate Republicans began the 2018 legislative session by reshuffling their leadership team for the year.

Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise

Sen. Chuck Winder of Boise will move into the majority leader’s role. Sen. Steve Vick of Dalton Gardens will serve as assistant majority leader, and Sen. Kelly Anthon of Burley will serve as majority caucus chairman.

Longtime Majority Leader Bart Davis’ departure from the Senate necessitated the reshuffle — and a 90-minute GOP caucus meeting Monday morning. Davis, of Idaho Falls, was appointed to a U.S. attorney’s post last summer.

Winder moves up from assistant majority leader to assume Davis’ spot in leadership. Traditionally, the majority leader steers the Senate through its daily floor sessions.

The assistant majority leader traditionally presides over what is known as “the committee of the whole Senate” — the often byzantine process used to amend bills on the Senate floor.

The caucus chair serves as a spokesman for Senate Republicans after their closed-door caucus meetings.

Winder ran unopposed for majority leader. Vick defeated Sen. Todd Lakey of Nampa in the race for assistant majority leader, Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review reported Monday; Lakey had hoped to move up from caucus chair to the assistant majority leader’s post. Anthon prevailed in a four-way race for caucus chair, Russell reported.

One fixture of Senate leadership remains intact. Brent Hill of Rexburg will remain Senate president pro tem.

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