James City County, Va, 15 November 2011: Acknowledging their status as the majority caucus in the Senate of Virginia, Republican Senators today signaled they are preparing to govern effectively, announcing that the chairmanships of standing committees will be based on seniority.
“As we prepare to return conservative leadership to the Senate of Virginia, we are working diligently to get a head start on the structure of the Caucus and the leadership of the Senate,” Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City) announced. “With less than two months remaining until the General Assembly is gaveled into session, it is important for us to indicate how the Senate will operate going forward.”
In addition to indicating that seniority would be the basis for determining who will chair the Senate’s eleven standing committees, Senators Steve D. Newman (R-Bedford County) and Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) declared their support for a leadership team that led by Senators Norment, Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover County) and Newman to lead the Caucus as Majority Leader, Caucus Chairman and Vice Caucus Chairman, respectively.
“As the current ranking Republican on the Senate Transportation Committee, I am excited about the opportunity to lead on one of the most critical issues facing the Commonwealth,” Senator Newman remarked. “Governor McDonnell has already signaled that Transportation initiatives are going to be at the top of his agenda for the second half of his term, and as Chairman I will be ideally positioned to shepherd the long overdue reforms Republicans will be advancing.
“I look forward to joining Senators Norment and McDougle to help implement our Caucus agenda and that of Governor McDonnell,” said Newman.
Senator Obenshain noted, “As demonstrated by the surprising success of our agenda last session, our Caucus is most effective when it is united in its commitment to advance conservative principles and enact conservative solutions to the challenges facing Virginia. I am pleased that we are able to link arms, agree to a leadership team and start this journey united.”
“The new Senate majority is positioning itself now for what we are committed to making the most productive session in recent memory,” noted Senator McDougle.