Senjem considers run for majority leader
"I am considering it. I am getting a fair amount of encouragement — a number of calls over the last several days to do it," he said.
But Senjem said he has not been giving the idea too much thought this weekend because he is still in a period of "mourning" over Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch resigning her post after she was confronted by fellow senators for allegedly being involved in an "inappropriate relationship" with a male Senate staffer.
"The concern really personally is for Amy right now and not so much what I do or frankly the politics of the caucus," he said.
Last week is probably one that most Republicans in the state would like to forget. On Thursday, Koch shocked many at the Capitol by announcing she was stepping down for her leadership post after one year on the job and would not seek re-election to her seat. In her letter to colleagues, she said "We cannot afford to have a lame duck leader in negotiations."
But the real bombshell came on Friday. Republican Senate leaders said they had confronted Koch on Wednesday night about allegations of an "inappropriate relationship" with a Senate staffer. Later that day, news broke that the Minnesota Senate's Communications Director Michael Brodkorb was no longer employed by the Senate. Brodkorb later resigned his position as a volunteer adviser for 1st Congressional District GOP candidate Mike Parry, according to campaign spokesman Ben Golnik.
Senjem previously served as minority leader for four years and was at the helm last year when Republicans took back control of the Senate for the first time in 38 years. Despite his role leading the party to the politial promise land, he ended up stepping aside for Koch, who won the caucus' backing.
Senjem said the last couple of days have been difficult, but he said he is confident the party gain regain its footing.
"Clearly it takes a little bit of momentum away and we are going to have to recapture that momentum and go forward strong," Senjem.
As for Koch, the Rochester senator said he wants her to seriously consider staying in the legislature.
"She is a fine legislator. She made an unfortunate mistake here, but we all do in some respects — different kinds of mistakes," he said.