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October 20, 2017

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Democrats choose Aaron Ford as party’s state Senate leader

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Senator Aaron Ford talks to colleagues after a floor session Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 during the 2013 legislative session in Carson City.

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Senator Moises Denis of the 77th (2013) Nevada Senatorial District.

State Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis will not be the titular leader of his party during the 2015 legislative session, the Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus announced Tuesday.

The move will end months of speculation and internal strife inside the party, which has been at odds over whom should take the reins in Carson City when the session starts in February. Sen. Aaron Ford will act as the Senate minority leader of the 10-member caucus and will lead the party as it reels from last week’s election where the party lost a majority it had held since 2008. Ford, a Las Vegas attorney, is in the middle of his first term in the Senate.

Denis decided not to pursue a leadership position for the session, according to a media release. He served as the leader for one term. Question arose about Denis’ leadership after the 2013 legislative session, and Ford became a front-runner for the party’s top spot.

Passing legislation for full-day kindergarten and English language learning programs in public schools were two achievements Denis touted in the release.

As the newly minted minority party, Democrats have less leverage than they did during the last session. But Ford signaled his caucus will be willing to reach across the aisle.

"I look forward to working with the governor, our Republican colleagues in the Senate, as well as with our colleagues in the Assembly,” Ford said in a media release.

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