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Gazelka elected assistant majority leader

Gazelka elected assistant majority leader in Senate

Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Brainerd, was elected as one of four Senate assistant majority leaders Tuesday, as Republicans brought in a new leadership team in the wake of the resignation of Sen. Amy Koch. Koch, the former Senate majority leader, stepped down after revelations that she had an inappropriate relationship with a Senate staffer.

The first term senator from rural Brainerd said two more assistant majority leaders will be picked by newly elected Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem of Rochester.

The Associated Press reported the other assistant majority leaders elected Tuesday were Sens. Roger Chamberlain of Lino Lakes, Ted Lillie of Lake Elmo and Claire Robling of Jordan.

Earlier this month, Gazelka, 52, had noted that while he didn’t have years of seniority in the Senate his experience as a one-term House member has been beneficial. He said that of the 37 Republican senators elected in 2010, 20 were in their first term.

MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at 855-5860 or

Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860