Utah GOP chooses legislative leadership

Published: Thursday, Nov. 8 2012 11:15 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — Wayne Niederhauser, R-Sandy, was selected as the new Senate president, and Rep. Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, remained House speaker following Republican leadership elections Thursday.

Niederhauser, the former Senate majority whip, was selected over Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, as president. Senate President Michael Waddoups is set to retire at the end of this year.

Sen. Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe, was named Senate majority leader, beating out Sens. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, and Curt Bramble, R-Provo.

Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton, stood unopposed in being named Senate majority whip.

Assistant majority whip will be Sen. Pete Knudson, R-Brigham City. He was challenged unsuccessfully by Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal.

Lockhart has been speaker of the Utah House since 2009.

Rep. Brad Dee, R-Ogden, was unopposed in keeping his seat as House majority leader. He has been in the House since 2003.

Rep. Greg Hughes, R-Draper, begins his second round as House majority whip, and Rep. Don Ipson, R-St. George, will serve as assistant majority whip. Ipson beat out Rep. Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, and Rep. Ryan Wilcox, R-Ogden, who were also seeking that post.

McKenzie Romero, Twitter: @McKenzieRomero

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