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Columbia Missourian

Republicans pick Rob Mayer for top spot in Missouri Senate

By The Associated Press
November 4, 2010 | 1:36 p.m. CDT

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.