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Joyner designated Senate Democratic leader

Posted May 3, 2013 by William March

Updated May 3, 2013 at 05:02 PM

State Sen. Arthenia Joyner of Tampa has been designated incoming leader of the Democrats in the state Senate, the first black woman to hold that position.

Joyner, a Tampa lawyer elected to the Senate in 2006, will conclude her second term as a state senator in the next two years. She previously served three terms in the state House, 2000-2006.

The designation means Joyner can expect to be elected Senate Democratic leader in November and head the party’s caucus during the 2014 and 2015 legislative sessions. If Democrats won a majority in the Senate—which isn’t likely—she would be the leading candidate for Senate president. Between now and November, she’ll be in charge of the Democratic Party’s effort to elect Democrats to the state Senate.

Joyner was leader pro tem under the only previous female Democratic Senate leader, Nan Rich.