By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, January 14, the Alabama Senate met for the second day of its organizational session.
In the previous quadrennium, Senator J.T. “Jabo” Waggoner Jr. served as the Alabama Senate’s Majority leader. In this quadrennium, Senator Greg Reed (R-Jasper) will be the new Majority Leader of the Senate.
Senator Waggoner (R-Vestavia) took a point of personal privilege in Wednesday’s session to thank Senator Greg Reed (R-Jasper) for stepping up and agreeing to accept the responsibilities of being the new Senate Majority Leader for becoming the new Sen. Majority Leader.
Sen. Waggoner said that he had been looking to cut down on his responsibilities for several months. Senator Waggoner will remain the Chairman of the powerful Senate Rules Committee.
Sen. Gerald Dial (R-Lineville) thanked Waggoner and presented him with his Senate Majority Leader Parking spot sign.
Senator Roger Smitherman (D-Birmingham) said to Waggoner, “I want to thank you for all the work you have done as Majority Leader.” Smitherman said that when Waggoner became Majority leader it was, “At a very trying time.” Sen. Smitherman thanked Sen. Waggoner for how he handled some, “sensitive issues” as Majority Leader
Sen. Greg Reed said in a statement, “Many thanks to Sen. Jabo Waggoner as he passed on the Majority Leader mantle to me today during the second day of Organizing Session. It’s some big shoes to fill!”
Sen. Vivian Figures (D-Mobile) said, “I thank my Caucus for electing me to serve as your Minority Leader.” Figures said that she had wanted to give up her position as Minority Leader and had spoken to Sen. Quinton Ross (D-Montgomery) about taking the position. Figures said, “Our caucus elected him, Quinton Ross, unanimously as our minority leader.” Figures said that one word to describe him, “Is a fighter.”
Sen Quinton T Ross said, “Let me thank our very able outgoing minority leader who has served with such grace and style…This body is distinguished all across Alabama. God Sent me here in 2002.” Ross said that he has faced challenges including a trial and a law that kept him from serving and being a teacher.
Sen. Ross said that he looked forward to working with both the majority and the minority in the Senate, especially Sens. Waggoner, Dial, and Holley whom he said were truly both gentlemen and scholars.
To Lieutenant Governor Kay Ivey Sen. Ross said, “Madam Governor is has been a privilege to serve with you the past four years.”
Sen. Ross then presented flowers to Sen. Figures and thanked her for her service
Sen. Harri Anne Smith (I-Slocumb) said, “As the only member of the independent caucus, I am friends with all of the members. I am excited and I look forward to working with you and for working for the people of Alabama.”
Sen. Del Marsh (R-Anniston) thanked Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) for the, “Work he has done on these rules over the last several months.”
Sen. Marsh said in a statement, “I want to thank my colleagues for reelecting me President Pro Tem of the Senate. We have made so much progress over the past four years, and I look forward to leading the Senate as we continue to work for Alabama’s hard working families over the next four years.”