ATLANTA -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has appointed his Senate floor leaders for the legislative session beginning Jan. 14.
Sen. Rick Jeffares and Sen. Charlie Bethel will help carry the governor's agenda in the General Assembly's upper chamber. Jeffares is from Locust Grove, a small town between Atlanta and Macon. Bethel is from Dalton, in northwest Georgia. Both men are Republicans, like the governor.
Jeffares and Bethel will be looking for smoother sailing than the Senate has seen in recent years. Several factions broke out late in the last four-year term, with Republican senators stripping power from their fellow party member, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. The competing factions never could establish a clear pecking order once they took action on Cagle.