Brian Kemp’s brother-in-law out as Georgia Senate majority leader

Credit: Jason Getz / AJC

Credit: Jason Getz / AJC

The Georgia Senate’s Republican caucus picked a new leadership team Tuesday, and one of its biggest changes came near the top.

The caucus chose Sen. Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, to replace Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens, as majority leader of the Senate. Cowsert is the brother-in-law of Brian Kemp, the Republican nominee who has declared victory in the Nov. 6 governor’s election. Kemp’s opponent, Democrat Stacey Abrams, is contesting the issue in court.

Many members of the Senate Republican caucus backed Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle for the GOP gubernatorial nomination and some were offended by hard-hitting comments made by the Kemp team during the heated summer runoff campaign. Kemp easily beat Cagle after President Donald Trump came out in support of him.

Dugan contributed to Cagle’s campaign, although he later also gave to Kemp after he won the nomination. Cowsert contributed about $12,000 to Kemp’s campaign.

Another Cagle loyalist, Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, was renominated Senate president pro tem, the second-highest position in the chamber behind the lieutenant governor.

Sen. Larry Walker, R-Perry, was chosen as the new majority caucus vice chairman .