JEFFERSON CITY— Southeast Missouri Sen. Rob Mayer is the victor in a Republican leadership shakeup in the state Senate.
Fresh off election gains, Republican senators met behind closed doors Thursday to select leaders for the two-year term that begins in January.
They nominated Mayer, of Dexter, to serve as Senate president pro tem — the top spot in the chamber. He defeated Senate Majority Leader Kevin Engler, of Farmington, who traditionally would ascend to the position.
Mayer said his election is a sign of a stronger "conservative bent" in the Senate. He pledged to focus on job creation. Mayer currently is the Senate Appropriations Committee chairman.