FRANKFORT, Ky, (KT) - The Senate Republican Caucus elected two new members to its leadership for the next two years on Friday.
Senate President Robert Stivers of Manchester was nominated by acclamation, as was David Givens of Greensburg, to replace Sen. Jimmy Higdon as president pro-tempore. Higdon decided not to seek re-election.
Both of those offices will be voted upon by the entire Senate membership during an organizational session in January, but since the GOP holds a supermajority in the chamber, there is little doubt of its outcome.
The other three positions were contested, with Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown keeping his position as majority floor leader, Mike Wilson of Bowling Green remaining majority whip and Julie Raque Adams replacing Louisville Sen. Dan Seum as Republican caucus chair.
Givens did not attend the meeting as he was watching his daughter play for Wingate University in the NCAA Division II Volleyball Tournament.
Adams is the third woman to be elected to a GOP Senate leadership position, following former Senators Elizabeth Tori and Katie Stine.
Stivers said: “We have had more women in leadership than the Democrats have ever had in leadership.”
Adams said she is very excited by her election. “I hope to build on Dan Seum’s great leadership. We both come from the same area, so it’s nice to have it represented. I’m looking forward to adding my perspective and a little bit of diversity to the Caucus. It’s nice when you have a lot of ideas come to the table, and I look forward to being a very active member of leadership.”
Thayer says the leadership group will meet next week to decide committee assignments and committee chair vacancies. “Sen. Joe Bowen retired, so we have a vacancy at the State and Local Government Committee. With Sen. Adams’ ascendancy to Caucus Chairmanship, Health and Welfare is also vacant.”
The Senate Republican Caucus will head to Cumberland Falls State Report Park for a retreat Nov. 28-30, where they will also meet with Whitley County officials and representatives from the University of the Cumberlands, according to Stivers.
“We have become a caucus of 28,” Stivers pointed out. “The last time there was a caucus of less than 10, it was the Republicans in the early 1990s. Now, the Democratic Caucus is none, with one open seat that we will determine in a special election.”
The organizational session will be Jan. 8-11, after which the General Assembly will be in recess until Feb. 5 for the remainder of the session, which ends March 29.