Republicans elected new leadership in the Virginia State Senate yesterday.
Sen. Walter Stosch (R-Henrico Co.), who was Majority Leader since 1998, was ousted by Republican senators, and replaced with a new leader for the now-minority party. That man is Sen. Thomas Norment Jr. (R-James City County). Stosch was given the new title of "Republican leader emeritus".
The other new leaders elected were...
Sen. Stephen Newman was made caucus chairman
Sen. Mark Obenshain is now Minority Whip
Sen. Frank Wagner is also a Minority Whip
Sen. Ken Stolle was elected to the new post of Republican leader pro tempore
All votes were unanimous, and there was no prior votes taken before unanimity was reached.
This allowed new Minority Leader Norment to quip to reporters, "I know it will be very disappointing to you, but there is peace in the Republican caucus in Virginia."
This leadership is generally more conservative than the Senate leadership in the past. The post-election power loss in the Senate and the more conservative makeup of the Senate Republican Party seems to have created a better sense of unity and direction for the GOP.
Many bloggers, like Jerry Fuhrman at From On High, see this as creating an actual "two-party system", instead of two parties that sometimes resembled each other. I'm inclined to agree with them that this united, more conservative GOP will do a better job to fight against any possible tax increases and fight for responsible fiscal policy and budgeting to overcome the revenue shortfall that was created by the continued inflation of the state budget.