Republican Senator Wayne Niederhauser has been elected the next president of the Utah Senate. On Friday night the Sandy Senator beat Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins in a vote to replace Michael Waddoups, who is retiring at the end of his term.
"We’re all very excited to serve and to be the go to people in the Senate and to work the Governor and the House to bring back good policy for our state now and in the future," says Niederhauser.
Niederhauser has been a member of the senate since 2006; serving as Majority Whip for the last two years. Also elected to senate leadership was Senator Ralph Okerlund of Monroe, who will serve as Majority Leader; Senator Stuart Adams of Layton is the Majority Whip, and Senator Peter Knudson of Brigham City as Assistant Whip.
Niederhauser says he hopes to bring everyone together to get more things done, "I love the process and I want it to be inclusive. Sometimes these leadership elections can get divisive and I want to bring our body together so that we're working as a well-oiled machine towards establishing good policy for the state of Utah."
The House of Representatives also held their elections Friday night. Becky Lockhart will serve another term as Speaker of the House. Majority Leader Brad Dee of Ogden and Majority Whip Greg Hughes of Draper were also re-elected. Representative Don Ipson of St. George will serve as Assistant Whip, replacing Rhonda Menlove of Garland who decided against retaining the position.