Posted: Nov 14, 2012 10:30 AM by Marnee Banks - MTN News
HELENA - The 2013 legislative session is just around the corner, and Montana lawmakers are preparing to elect their new leadership.
During the 2011 session, Jim Peterson (R) lead his caucus as Senate President; now Jeff Essmann (R) from Billings is challenging Peterson to his seat and asking Republicans to switch directions.
In the other chamber, Speaker of the House Mike Milburn is termed out, so Mark Blasdel from Somers is running unopposed to fill his shoes.
Democrats will also elect new leadership for their party; they will be a minority in both the House and Senate.
There are 61 Republicans and 39 Democrats in the House and 39 Democrats; in the Senate, there are 29 Republicans and 21 Democrats.
Caucus elections are open to the press but how each legislator votes is still kept a secret.
So regardless of the outcome, we won't know which Republicans sided with Essmann and which sided with Peterson.
Democrats will also elect new leadership for their party; however, they will be a minority in both the House and Senate.