GOP hopes new leader will lead to Senate majority

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Senate Republicans will choose a new leader as they look toward the 2012 election and a chance of winning control of the chamber.

The lawmakers will meet Thursday, two days after a special election in eastern Iowa’s District 18. That vote could give them a share of Senate control if the Republican candidate wins.

GOP lawmakers say there are no ideological issues involved in replacing Sen. Paul McKinley. It was announced last week he would step down from his post when he had opted not to seek re-election.

Instead, legislators say they want a leader who will strongly voice Republican positions and give them the best shot at winning control of the Senate in 2012.