on November 17, 2014 by in Golden News, Comments Off on GOP tabs state Senate leaders

GOP tabs state Senate leaders

A unified Senate Republican caucus on Nov. 11 unanimously put in place a leadership team that will guide the chamber’s new majority party through the next legislative session.

It came as no surprise that the 18-member caucus tabbed Sen. Bill Cadman of Colorado Springs as Senate President. Cadman has served in the Legislature since 2000 and has represented Republicans as Senate minority leader the last four sessions.

Cadman infused some humor into the proceedings as he reminded those in attendance of how long it had taken him to finally oversee a Republican majority.

“As we prepare to serve in the majority – I have to say it again – as we prepare to serve in the majority,” Cadman said to laughter from inside a large-sized Capitol committee hearing room. “We got the big room. I haven’t been in here in eight years.”

When the legislative session begins in mid-January, Republicans will enjoy an 18-17 majority, the same one-seat advantage Democrats held last year.

That’s thanks in part to victories by Republican candidates in a few key Senate districts, including a win by Beth Martinez-Humenik in the Adams County-based Senate District 24, a tight race that wasn’t called until days after the election.

While Republicans will hold a slim majority in the Senate, the opposite will be true in the House, where Democrats held on to their majority following the results from Nov. 4.

That reality is not lost on Cadman.

“We have to stay focused on what brings us together as a caucus, not what divides us,” Cadman urged his members.

Cadman’s right-hand-man next session will continue to be Sen. Mark Scheffel of Parker, who will serve as majority leader.

Scheffel, who was elected to his District 4 seat in 2008, has served as assistant minority leader under Cadman for the last three years.

“It’s humbling. It’s an honor. It’s a privilege,” Scheffel said after being heaped with praise by Cadman, who nominated Scheffel for the position.

Two women will serve on the new leadership team: Sen. Ellen Roberts of Durango, who was elected Senate president pro-tem and Sen. Vickie Marble of Fort Collins, who will serve as Republican caucus chairwoman.

Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulfur Springs, who will serve as majority whip, will hold the job of counting and rounding up votes on legislation.

With its new majority, Republicans will double the number of members that will sit on the Joint Budget Committee, which oversees the forming of the annual state budget.

Sen. Kent Lambert of Colorado Springs will continue to serve on the committee with new JBC member Sen. Kevin Grantham of Canon City joining him.

At the end of the proceedings, Cadman and his colleagues exchanged Peyton Manning jerseys, with the Denver Broncos quarterback’s No. 18 symbolizing the number of GOP members that will serve in the chamber over which Cadman will preside.

“Eighteen is what it takes to make a majority,” he said. “We are all the 18th member of this team.”

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