Now that the dust from the midterm elections has settled a bit, leadership elections are next. Both chambers of the General Assembly decided who will represent them on their respective floors this session.
The Senate has decided who will become their floor leaders for both caucuses as well as who will take up the mantle for President Pro Tem as current President Pro Tem Sen. Dave Schatz is term limited.
The Democratic Caucus has decided that the Minority Floor Leader will once again be Sen. John J. Rizzo. Rizzo has dutifully served as Minority Floor Leader since 2020.
Democratic voters successfully defended Sen. Jill Schupp’s seat early last week, electing Rep. Tracy McCreery to the Senate. But Rizzo and the Senate Democrats will still have a tough road ahead as Republicans hold their supermajority in the upper chamber.
The Republican Caucus has decided that the majority floor leader will be Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin. Although O’Laughlin has not been in a Senate leadership position in the past, she has been a part of many committees. This includes the Senate Education Committee, in which she was chairwoman.
The Senate has also decided that Rowden will be the next President Pro Tem. Rowden previously served as Majority Floor Leader, where he battled with the now defunct Senate Conservative Caucus over a variety of issues last session.
The Conservative Caucus disbanded during this past summer but that does not mean Rowden will not have more battles to fight in his newly elevated position.
The House has also decided their leadership last week. The Republicans have decided their Majority Floor Leader will be Rep. Jon Patterson with Rep. Mike Henderson as Speaker Pro Tem. Rep. Dean Plocher remains as Speaker-Designee of the House.
The House Democrats decided Rep. Crystal Quade will return as Minority Floor Leader after her reelection victory. While House Democrats are still in the minority, they did pick up a few contested seats this week.
Both chambers have lost and gained key members these past few months, thanks to a few competitive primary and general elections this cycle. Now only time will tell how this session will go as it inches closer.