Republicans choose Dempsey as Mo. Senate president

Thursday, November 8, 2012 ~ Updated 4:42 PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri Senate will be led by new people when it convenes in 2013.

Majority party Republicans on Thursday nominated Sen. Tom Dempsey, of St. Charles, to serve as president pro tem -- the top position in the chamber. Dempsey still must be elected by the full Senate when it convenes in January.

Republicans picked Sen. Ron Richard, of Joplin, to succeed Dempsey as the Senate majority leader. Richard, a former House speaker, defeated Sen. Mike Parson, of Bolivar, during a closed-door meeting of the Republican caucus.

Democrats picked Sen. Jolie Justus, of Kansas City, to serve as their minority leader. She is believed to be the first openly gay senator to hold that position.

House Democrats on Thursday picked Jake Hummel, of St. Louis, as the minority party leader.

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