Jacobs, Pipkin elected to Senate minority leadership
Brinkley steps aside in race for whip
ANNAPOLIS In an unusual mid-session election, Senate Republicans chose Sens. Nancy Jacobs and E.J. Pipkin to lead the caucus.
Jacobs (R-Dist. 34) of Abingdon replaces minority leader Sen. Allan H. Kittleman (R-Dist. 9) of West Friendship, who announced his resignation earlier this week.
"Neither one of us are afraid to ruffle feathers when that's necessary," Jacobs said following the more than two-hour private caucus meeting.
Pipkin (R. Dist. 26) of Elkton replaces Sen. David R. Brinkley (R-Dist. 4) of New Market as the minority whip.
Brinkley, a rumored favorite for leader, who challenged Jacobs, stepped aside in the whip race.
"When they selected her as leader it just made sense. Theoretically she could get her person in there," Brinkley said, although he acknowledged that he intended Pipkin to serve as whip had he won.
"They're going to do fine. It's just unfortunate that we had to take this up at this time."
Earlier this week, Kittleman, apparently prompted by plans to file legislation that would legalize civil unions for, announced his intention to step down from the leader post. Kittleman, who considers himself a fiscal conservative, said he is more socially moderate than other caucus members and wants to speak as an individual on the Senate floor.
"In the past I've probably kind of laid low as a respect to the people of my caucus and maybe to others," told The Gazette earlier this week. "There wasn't a reason to stand up. I feel that now there's a very good possibility that this is going to come to the floor and I want to be able to stand up. I also want to be able to do it without offending the members of my caucus."
Pipkin nudged out Sen. Edward R. Riley (R-Dist. 33) of Crofton after roughly a half dozen rounds of voting he and Jacobs said.
"I think it's clear for the first time in a long time we're going to be able to have the real talk about the size and scope of government spending. I think clearly there's a lot of talk about changing tax policy and we can work against those tax increase and try to lower taxes where we can. I think what we've learned from the election and the caucus is the focus of jobs, jobs, jobs is what we're going to do over the next 80 days," Pipkin said.