As the West Virginia Legislature begins the 2007 Regular Session today, Sen. Clark Barnes, R-Randolph, was appointed Senate minority whip.
Sen. Barnes, who has represented the 15th District since 2004, was chosen for the position by new minority leader Sen. Don Caruth, R-Mercer.
“He was the clear choice for this position,” Sen. Caruth said. “He possesses a general knowledge about all the important issues facing the Senate, not just a few pet issues. That’s something that a good leader must demonstrate.”
The minority whip acts as a liaison between the minority leader and the minority members. The whip is responsible for communicating with minority members and assessing where the members stand on votes.
As Sen. Barnes added, the whip is also “responsible for disseminating information about what’s coming out of the House, evaluating it and making recommendations to fellow Republicans about whether or not it’s good legislation.” He also said the whip must communicate “vertically and horizontally” by talking to members and leadership on both sides of the aisle.
Sen Caruth said: “Clark is has developed a good personal relationship with the minority members – with all the members, for that matter. Even though this is his first term, he has immediately gained the respect of his fellow members.”
“I’m pleased to have been appointed as part of the leadership team,” Sen. Barnes said. “I consider it a great honor to be able to serve in this capacity.
“I believe that the minority party should have a primary role of being the conscience of the Legislature. Although we cannot direct the affairs of the Senate or set the agenda, we’re the ones that can assure that only quality legislation is passed on to the people.”
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