Thompson prepares to lead in state Senate
David Thompson has yet to serve a day in the Minnesota Senate, but he's already been given a big vote of confidence by his colleagues.
Thompson, a Lakeville resident who won the seat vacated by longtime Republican Senator Pat Pariseau, will serve as one of four assistant majority leaders in the newly Republican Senate. He said one of his new colleagues came to him prior to the vote and asked if Thompson would be OK being nominated for the role. He agreed, gave a brief speech, then was elected.
"Obviously it was an honor and surprise," Thompson said. "I'm looking forward to helping out the caucus and, more importantly, helping move the state forward in any way I can."
As assistant majority leader Thompson will be responsible for working with majority leader Amy Koch to develop strategy and tactics for advancing legislation. Thompson, a lawyer and longtime radio talk show host, said the new title will not do much to change the way he prepares for his first term in office.
"I suppose how it changes things is I have to be cognizant of the fact that, as an assistant majority leader, when I speak there is a perception that I am speaking on behalf of leadership," Thompson said. "Whenever you're put in a position of leadership, you have to be responsible and understand that you, by definition, represent the organization, not just yourself."