Benjamin Cruz has been named by his Democratic colleagues as the new speaker of the Legislature, succeeding Judith Won Pat, who held the seat for five consecutive terms.
Breaking from their three-week long caucus, the Democratic majority met with media inside the Legislature’s soon-to-be former public hearing room Monday, to announce which senators-elect have been appointed to leadership positions. Two of the key leadership positions will go to freshman lawmakers.
“But we just thought we should have the media and the public aware that there is white smoke and we have our leadership,” Cruz said. White smoke rises from the Sistine Chapel when a new pope is selected.
First-time senator-elect Therese Terlaje will succeed Cruz as the vice speaker, while Regine Biscoe Lee, who also won her first election this fall, takes on the role of legislative secretary.