Senate Democrats pick Ellis as minority leader

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Sen. Johnny Ellis was chosen minority leader by state Senate Democrats on Monday.

Ellis, a Democrat from Anchorage, has served two previous two-year terms as minority leader and has been in the Legislature since 1986. Democrats chose Sen. Kim Elton, D-Juneau, as minority whip and recommended Sens. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, and Donny Olson, D-Nome, to serve on the Senate Finance Committee.

Democrats forward their recommendations to the Senate Republicans, who hold a 12-8 advantage, and GOP leadership makes final committee assignments.

Senate Republicans earlier chose Sen. Gene Therriault, R-North Pole, as their president and Sen. Ben Stevens, R-Anchorage, as majority leader.

Sens. Lyda Green, R-Wasilla, and Gary Wilken, R-Fairbanks, were picked to be Senate Finance co-chairs and Sen. John Cowdery, R-Anchorage, will be chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, the committee that decides which bills will go to the full Senate for a vote.

Ellis said in a press statement that Senate Democrats are committed to work with the Murkowski administration and Republican majority in the Senate.

The 23rd Legislature convenes on Jan. 21.

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