HARRISONBURG — Senate Republicans on Thursday re-elected Sen. Tommy Norment, R-James City, to lead the party as it prepares to operate in the minority.
Norment, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992, has led the Senate Republicans since 2008. He was minority leader from 2008 to 2012. He was majority leader from January 2012 to January 2014, then regained the post in June 2014 after state Sen. Phil Puckett, D-Russell, resigned, giving Republicans control of the chamber.
On Thursday, Senate Republicans caucused in Harrisonburg, where they broadly maintained status quo in caucus leadership.
Sen. Ryan McDougle, R-Hanover, was re-elected as caucus chairman for a third full term.
Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, was again elected co-chairman of the caucus, while Sens. Bill Stanley, R-Franklin County, and Bryce Reeves, R-Spotsylvania, were elected as whips. Sen. Steve Newman, R-Lynchburg, was chosen as the GOP leader pro tempore.
Senate Republicans also elected Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, as the chairwoman of the caucus’s newly created campaign committee.
“With experience, skill, and dedication, our leadership team is prepared to hold the majority to account,” Norment said in a statement. “Most importantly, we will be standing up for the Virginians who sent us here to be their voice and to represent their values.”
When the General Assembly convenes in January, Democrats will control power with a slim, 21-19 edge.
Republicans lost the seats of Sens. Glen Sturtevant, R-Richmond, and retiring Sen. Dick Black, R-Loudoun, but were able to hold on to the Virginia Beach seat of former Sen. Frank Wagner. Jen Kiggans, a former Navy pilot and a nurse practitioner, defeated Del. Cheryl Turpin, D-Virginia Beach, in a close contest, becoming the only new member of the GOP Senate caucus.
Norment introduced Kiggans during a budget presentation near the campus of James Madison University on Thursday.
“I wish I had more people to introduce,” he joked.