November 13, 2018 8:44 AM
This week’s special session also allows time for members of the various caucuses in the legislature to meet for the first time post-election and choose their leaders for the 2019-2020 term.
On the House Republican side, Speaker Ralston is expected to be re-nominated for speaker as are the rest of the current leadership. There are two open slots that must be filled. The position of Majority Whip is vacant now that Christian Coomer is an Appeals Court Judge. Sam Teasley, the Vice Chairman of the Caucus, lost his re-election bid last week. Expect Trey Kelley to be elected new Majority Whip, and Micah Gravley seems to be in position to be Caucus Vice-Chairman.
The Senate is more fluid. For the past several years the chamber has been run under a power-sharing agreement between Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle and Senators, with the lead influencing Senator being David Shafer as President Pro Tempore. With Cagle and Shafer moving on, the entire leadership and governance of the chamber is somewhat of an open question.
Expect Butch Miller to hold his title of President Pro Tem which he gained last year, but Majority Leader Bill Cowsert is being challenged by Mike Dugan. Majority Whip Steve Gooch is said to be challenged by two Senators, Burt Jones and Greg Kirk. A lot of Senators aren’t terribly happy with Lindsey Tippins and his role in defeating Lt. Governor Cagle in the Republican Governor’s primary, and thus he may be the most vulnerable to challenge. Matt Brass and Larry Walker are looking to take the title of Caucus Vice Chairman in that contest.
The House Republican Caucus meets this morning at 10am in the House Chambers, (and the gallery is open to the public). The Senate will meet this
afternoon morning as well.
Updated: The House held it’s elections late morning with Rep Trey Kelley elected Majority Whip and Rep Micah Gravley as the new Caucus Vice-Chairman. The Senate met this morning as a caucus but will conduct elections this afternoon.