ST. PAUL, Minn. — During his 22 years as a board member of Mayo Employees Federal Credit Union, David H. Senjem developed a great appreciation for the virtues of the private sector combined with the effectiveness of the people helping people approach.

These days, Senjem has the opportunity to apply that philosophy on a larger scale.

Since January 2007, the second-term Minnesota state senator has been the leader of the Republicans in that chamber. That has meant trying to help his state's Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty pass his agenda while playing defense against some of the policy initiatives of Democrats, who control the Minnesota Senate 44-23.

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