Missouri's new legislative crew casts first votes

Thursday, November 6, 2008 | 6:51 p.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri's freshly elected lawmakers get to cast their first votes.

Republicans and Democrats caucused behind closed doors Thursday in both the House and Senate to pick leaders for the 2009 session.

Senate Republicans nominated Majority Leader Charlie Shields of St. Joseph for the chamber's top post of president pro tem. He would replace Mike Gibbons, of Kirkwood, who was term-limited and lost a bid for attorney general.

Senate Republicans chose Kevin Engler of Farmington as the new majority leader.

Senate Democrats chose Victor Callahan of Independence as minority leader. He replaces term-limited Sen. Maida Coleman of St. Louis.

House members made no changes. Republicans already had nominated Ron Richard of Joplin as the next House speaker.

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