And how will the elections shape up for Leadership? I’m predicting big changes in the Senate, and minor changes in the House.

And how will the elections shape up for Leadership?

There’s probably not a lot of things drastically altered from the results of this weeks’ primary moving into the next legislative session, but we will see some changes in the leadership structure from comings and goings, especially in the State Senate, with the term limiting of Corey Brown as Senate Majority Leader.

Brown’s departure will leave a big hole in the Senate GOP Caucus, as it’s up in the air over who can take over the political role he assumed during session, and behind the scenes for the caucus, during times of campaigns.   Jim White was tapped as his assistant, but this is not going to be the Senate GOP Caucus of 2015-2016.

The Senate was inevitably going to be a much more conservative place, and now it will be even moreso with the election of a few primary contenders who weren’t guaranteed to be there, such as Lance Russell, Stace Nelson, Phil Jensen and Ryan Maher.  We’re also adding Neal Tapio, probably Jim Bolin, and others.

Word on the street is that State Senator Brock Greenfield has his eye on Gary Cammack’s position as President Pro Tempore.  Given the harder line conservatism of the senate, it remains to be seen if Jim White will return as Assistant Majority Leader, or move up to Brown’s position.  The composition of whips may change as well.

Senate Leadership will likely be a very fluid thing over the course of the year.  I would not be shocked to see newcomers to the Senate such as Jim Bolin or former GOP ED Lance Russell in the leadership mix somewhere.

But, we shall see.

The House is going to be more of a steady state, with the ascension of Mark Mickelson from Speaker Pro Tempore to Speaker of the House. Steve Westra may be the natural choice to move up to majority leader from assistant, but there will be a lot of new faces, so nothing is guaranteed.

Larry Rhoden who will be returning to the House, and who was formerly in Leadership may find himself called on to take a role in filling a vacancy.

But, I don’t know that I would expect as much of a shakeup as they’ll experience in the Senate.


29 Replies to “And how will the elections shape up for Leadership? I’m predicting big changes in the Senate, and minor changes in the House.”

  1. Tiny Dancer

    I would not be surprised to see Justin Cronin make a push for leadership in the Senate. Former Chair of House Appropriations, will be looking for a spot IF Sen. Deb Peters will be staying as Chair of Senate Appropriations.

  2. Pat Powers Post author

    I believe Deb is going to be National Chair of NCSL this next year, so we’ll see what she ends up taking on in terms of her legislative workload.

  3. anonymouse

    It will be interesting to see who takes over Russells place as string puller in the house . It was very interesting watching the hard right gang running to his desk to see how to vote , including Nelson when he was in the house .

  4. Anonymous

    Conservatives are pushing Russell for President Pro Tem
    Greenfield for Majority Leader

    Monroe, and Stalzer, for assistant leader.

  5. SDGOPer

    A Westra/Rhoden leadership team in the House would be spectacular. Good regional balance and solidly conservative.

  6. Wow

    Rhoden will find that the House will be hard pressed to have a newcomer in leadership. It was tried with someone else who returned last year and did not work. Westra will get in easily. Greenfield has always expressed wishes to be Speaker Pro Tem so assume he will be voted in. Would not be surprised if the same holds in the Senate as the House. The old “newcomers” will do bench time before they see leadership positions.

    1. Anon

      “Tried with someone else who returned last year”- You can say Schoenbeck, I doubt he’d mind.

      And with Greenfield you mean President Pro Tem, not Speaker. He’s in the Senate.

    2. Anonymous

      Greenfield is in the Senate. He will make a great Majority Leader. Could not think of anyone better. Lance Russell as President Pro Tem is brilliant.

  7. Anonymous

    This is a really good post PP.

    I’d like to see Brock Greenfield take the Pro Temp position. I’m unsure if that will happen against an incumbent. Cammack might choose to go for Majority Leader. I would guess this will all hinge on one or two votes. Yikes.

    Will Stace allow Greenfield to be the conservative voice?

    1. Anon

      I would assume Stace doesn’t think Brock is a true conservative. In his mind they are only two real conservatives out there: Ted Cruz and Stace Nelson.

      1. Anonymous

        These warring factions on the right will put a moderate in charge. First off cammack will hold his spot. Majority leader will be white and minority will be salano.

  8. Troy Jones

    I think there is a lot of speculation which assumes/presumes these positions are only about ideology. Members will also be considering leadership skills with regard doing the day-to-day administrative matters.

    I have no idea whether any of the above would be called to be in Leadership have leadership skills or not. I presume Brock has some as demonstrates the proper demeanor day-in and day-out. . My only point is the criteria of the cheeks in the seats (Members) is not just about ideology.

    Sidenote: I don’t know if Tapio is more conservative or less conservative than Holien but the Senate has lost a true intellectual which in and of itself has value. Don’t need a full body of them but a few are critical. And Reid is first rate Mensa smart.

    1. Anon

      I think they’re probably similar on the ideological spectrum, but you’re correct that there’s an intellectual loss without Reid.

  9. Pancho

    Anyone that thinks there is room for the Left leaning Republicans to return to any semblance of power in the Senate, is off their rocker.

    The only recipe that I have heard anyone express any support for, or believe conservatives will support, is the Russell -Greenfield tag team mentioned above. Russell would bring welcomed fairness to the pro Tem spot and Greenfield is probably the only person that could bridge the chasm between conservatives and the Left leaning Republicans.

  10. Anonymous

    I voted for Rounds in 2014 for US Senate and would do so again tomorrow because he gave the Senate GOP the majority but I welcome Stace Nelson, Lance Russell, Phil Jensen, Jim Bolin, Brock Greenfield and their supporters to the senate in Pierre because it has become a cesspool over the last 30 years of cronies, big business, big donors, nepotism, government contracts, no bid contracts, eb5, gear up and zero accountability.

    Daugaard has pushed me over the edge with his son in law being chief, tax increases, privacy bill veto, Medicaid expansion… These are not the policies we wanted when he was elected.

    I hope the next two years are good for our state. I hope Daugaard doesn’t have a rubber stamp senate.

  11. Pat Powers Post author

    Guys, as it has been since the dawn of the blog, I dump comments that are off topic, libelous or those known to be false. And if it’s funny.

    If you think I’m being unfair, e-mail me with the proof of your statement.

  12. Anonymous

    Does any of this even matter, really? It’s not like leadership in either chamber has real power or actually exercises leadership skills. It’s all for show. Too short of terms for any of this be of consequence. TV is the real leader in both chambers…good or bad…nothing happens without
    directive from the administration.