The Senate Democratic Caucus elected Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, as its minority whip during a caucus meeting Wednesday in Frankfort.

“I am honored to take on this new role,” said Parrett, who was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and faces re-election in 2018. “I appreciate the importance of being part of the Democratic leadership team, especially as we work to draft a balanced budget and solve the pension crisis. I will serve my caucus as I serve my constituents and the state — to the best of my abilities.”

In explaining the selection, Senate Democratic Floor Leader Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville, described additional influence available in Parrett's new role.

“Being elected to leadership will give Dennis a seat at the table during the upcoming budget negotiations in the 2018 legislative session," Jones said. "His constituents can be assured that Dennis will be a strong advocate for the needs of his district.”

Along with Jones and Parrett, the Democratic leadership team also includes Sen. Dorsey Ridley who serves as caucus chair.

Parrett's selection will help define a new direction for the state's Democratic legislators, Jones said in a statement released by the caucus.

“Dennis Parrett is a leader with high moral character and integrity," he said. "He, along with Dorsey Ridley and I, will bring a new mainstream conservative voice to the Senate Democratic Caucus.”

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