Assemblyman Samuel Thompson is testing the waters to see if he has enough support with in the Republican caucus to run for Minority Whip. The post is expected to become vacant next month, assuming Frank Blee prevails at a Special Election Convention to succeed Bill Gormley in the State Senate. Statehouse insiders say that Assemblyman Jon Bramnick has emerged as the leading candidate for the #3 GOP leadership post. If Bramnick wins Blee’s job, Republicans will then need another election to replace Bramnick as the Assistant Minority Whip. There will be several leadership posts available if the Republicans retain the minority in the 2007 mid-term election. Policy Committee Chairman Steve Corodemus is not seeing re-election, and Assistant Minority Whip Sean Kean and Republican Appropriations Officer Joseph Pennacchio are running for the State Senate. To put contested legislative leadership contests into a proper context, it should be noted that fourteen of the 31 Republicans in the State Assembly are in leadership. 26 of 49 Assembly Democrats are in leadership.