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A look at the General Assembly's new leadership for 2024

Now that the election is over, newly elected members of the General Assembly are choosing who will lead them.

Scott Surovell will be the Senate Democratic majority leader, defeating Senator Mamie Locke for the top spot in the Senate. Senator Ryan McDougle will be the Republican minority leader, edging out Senator Mark Obenshain.

David Ramadan is a former Republican delegate who is now at George Mason University's Schar School, and he says Scott Surovell has the skills needed to lead the Senate.

"Scott is a litigation attorney, quick on his feet. Smart. Used to be a member of the House," Ramadan says. "Has good relationships and will be an ample adversary to the governor of Virginia."

On the House side, Don Scott will be Virginia's first Black Speaker. Charniele Herring will return to the role of Democratic majority leader. As for Republicans, they'll be led by former Speaker Todd Gilbert who faced a challenge from Delegate Terry Kilgore. Here's Stephen Farnsworth at the University of Mary Washington.

"Sometimes once you have been speaker, you either choose not to be minority leader or the party chooses for you," Farnsworth says. "Former Speaker Gilbert's decision to continue to remain in leadership suggests an optimism about Republican prospects in the next election cycle.”

Speaker Don Scott and Majority Leader Scott Surovell will be in control of all the bills Governor Glenn Youngkin will consider in his last two years in office, including his legacy budget.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.