Hot Sulphur Springs lawmaker chosen for Senate leadership
November 18, 2014
State Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs was recently chosen by his fellow Republicans for the position of Majority Whip for the 2015 legislative session.
His appointment as Majority Whip places Baumgardner in a leadership position in the state Republican Party.
As Majority Whip, Baumgardner will work to keep other Republicans on the floor of the Senate voting according to the desires of the party leadership. He will closely monitor how other Senators vote and will be tasked with lobbying and pressuring other Senators to vote the way the leadership wants.
Baumgardner explained his new role saying, "The majority whip is there to assist the majority leader on the floor and try to make sure members are in attendance; and to count votes, from both sides of the isle."
He paused for a moment and then chuckled. "It's like herding cats."
"Whip" is a term for a senior member of a political party in a legislative body. They are common in legislatures throughout the world. Whips are deal-makers in legislative bodies and often use both incentives and threats to keep party members in-line with the party as a whole. Whips also work to make sure legislators are in attendance for floor votes.
This will be Baumgardner's first appointment to the Whip position. He was first elected to the state legislature in 2008, serving as the House representative from the 57th District. In 2012 he was elected to his current position as senator for the 8th Senate District.
He currently sits on the Business, Labor and Technology Committee, the Capital Development Committee and the Transportation Committee. Baumgardner said he expects to be on the Capital Development Committee again next year as well as two or three other committees.