By Jack Brammer – firstname.lastname@example.org
ELIZABETHTOWN — Republican members of the Kentucky Senate unanimously voted on Saturday to give Senate President David Williams another term as their leader.
The GOP caucus decided to keep in place all of its current leaders. They include Senate President Pro Tem Katie Stine of Southgate, Majority Leader Robert Stivers of Manchester, Caucus Chairman Dan Seum of Louisville and Whip Carroll Gibson of Leitchfield.
Earlier this week, Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville, said she would run against Williams for Senate president, but she decided early Saturday to not enter the race.
Denton, who chairs the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, had said it’s in Williams’ best interests not to be in leadership while running for governor in 2011.
“It’s never worked in the past,” she had said, noting efforts in recent years by former House Speaker Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, to run for governor, falling short and then losing his leadership role.
Denton did not attend the GOP caucus meeting at an Elizabethtown hotel, but did participate in a telephone conference.
Stivers said all Republican members attended the caucus except for Denton, Sen. Ernie Harris of Crestwood and Sen. Tom Buford of Nicholasville. All of them submitted votes.
The top two positions, president and president pro tem, will be voted on by the entire 38-member chamber in early January, but Williams and Stine will be re-elected because the GOP caucus will have 23 members, including independent Sen. Bob Leeper of Paducah.
Stivers said it was decided on Wednesday to hold the leadership election so that leaders could prepare for the upcoming session of the Kentucky General Assembly.