Lakeville's Thompson Out as Senate's Assistant Majority Leader
New GOP leadership said the previous caucus leadership team, which included Thompson as an assistant majority leader, volunteered to step aside.
Last week, rumors were swirling that State Sen. Dave Thompson (R-District 36) of Lakeville, was the leading candidate to replace the embattled Senate Majority Leader Sen. Amy Koch (R-District 19) of Buffalo, who resigned as the GOP's caucus leader amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with one of her staff members.
But just before Christmas, Thompson announced he wasn't seeking the post, and on Dec. 27, Republicans announced an entirely new leadership structure for the Senate—a structure that doesn't include Thompson. He'll no longer be an assistant majority leader—at least not for 2012.
At the Dec. 27 vote held by Senate Republicans in Roseville, the caucus elected State Sen. David Senjem (R-District 29) of Rochester, the new Senate Majority Leader. Senjem has previously served as the Republican's minority leader.
Koch did take part in the caucus meeting.
“All directions now are looking forward. No more looking backward,” Senjem told HometownSource.com.
The new assistant majority leader team includes Sen. Roger Chamberlain of Lino Lakes, Sen. Paul Gazelka of Brainerd, Sen. Ted Lillie of Lake Elmo, and Sen. Claire Robling of Jordan.
Senjem said the previous leadership team—Koch's assistants—which included Sen. Chris Gerlach of Apple Valley, and Thompson, stepped aside from their leadership posts on their own.
In an email to Lakeville Patch, Thompson acknowledged that he stepped aside from a leadership role, adding, "I was nominated but decided not to accept."
The ballot was a secret ballot.
“I look forward to a constructive working relationship with him on behalf of the people of Minnesota,” Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement.