Take me to your Caucus Leader – House GOP Caucus Elections tomorrow

That was fast. No sooner is the ink drying on the election results than the House GOP Caucus is preparing to elect their Leadership, with House GOP Caucus elections set to take place tomorrow in Pierre.

Who is running? My spies tell me that as of this morning, here’s the roster of those who have thrown their hats in the ring:

  • Speaker of the House: Steve Haugaard & Mary Duvall
  • Speaker Pro Temp: Kent Peterson, Spencer Gosch & John Mills
  • House Majority Leader: Lee Qualm & Jean Hunhoff
  • Assistant Majority Leader: Tim Reed & Arch Beal
  • Majority Whip: Nearly a dozen legislators are said to have expressed interest

This could shift as people change their mind, but this is what I’m hearing at this moment.

Still waiting for word as to when the Senate elections will be scheduled, and how those races will shape up.

19 Replies to “Take me to your Caucus Leader – House GOP Caucus Elections tomorrow”

    1. Dave R

      First, Haugaard is not speaker now, so he is not being “challenged”. Second, its called and election, and elections are the usual thing. I.E. More than one person wanting to run for an office. So, no, its not unusual.

      1. anon

        Actually, by tradition the Speaker Pro Tem becomes Speaker, so this is unusual. The other positions are commonly challenged.

      2. Mark N.

        But Haugaard is Speaker Pro Tem, and the usual practice is for the Speaker Pro Tem to move up to Speaker without a contest. So most people familiar with the process would consider that to be a “challenge” and “unusual.” When was the last time someone lost a caucus election for Speaker who served a term as Speaker Pro Tem in the previous term?

      3. Anon

        The Speaker Pro Tem being challenged for their ascension to Speaker is what I was referring to. That is unusual. I’m not saying it isn’t allowed and obviously any one can run in an election. But it is tradition that the Pro Tem becomes Speaker without challenge.

      4. Lincoln County Delegate

        To my knowledge there has only been one Speaker Pro Temp who was not elected Speaker and that was Chris Madsen in 2005. Chris moved to Sioux Falls and did not run for the legislature again so Matt Michels served two terms as Speaker. I am not aware of someone ever running for Speaker that has not been Pro Temp before. The Pro Temp position is the training position to become Speaker and rightfully so. It’s a big job and not just anybody can hop into the position and run the House effectively.

        1. Anonymous

          It has been attempted before. Hal Wick ran against Dean Wink, unsuccessfully. It caused a big problem – people had to write on the ballots “Hal” or “Dean” so the counters wouldn’t have to tell apart handwritten “Wick” and “Wink” 🙂

  1. Kelly B Lieberg

    Hi Dave. I like how you corrected the record. Anon may have been identifying the presumption of elevation which is prevalent within the party.

  2. Not Stace

    Spencer Gosch has a weak record as a conservative although he claims to be one. Nice guy, but tended to do Mickelson’s bidding. Hope he doesn’t get elected.

    1. MJH

      You obviously do not know Duvall. She is a real conservative with excellent qualities in her legislative and personal life.

  3. anonymous

    What will happen is the people who claim to be conservative will get two candidates such as for the speaker pro tem position and the votes will split, thus paving the way for a rino.

  4. Troy Jones

    Nothing I’m about to say is meant to infer anything about any of the potential Caucus leaders as I don’t have enough information (which I’m sure applies to 99.9999% of the non-legislator readers of this blog).

    I hope people understand the most important ability of a Speaker is management and procedural. The perfect conservative without management and procedural skills will be a disaster Speaker. Same with President Pro Tem of the Senate. Because the Majority Leader heads the caucus, issue priorities are more important.

    1. Anonymous

      While I agree management is top priority, remember the Speaker builds the standing and conference committees and sends bills to those committees. In many ways that position has much more influence than the leader does to affect policy outcomes. Don’t think for a second those committees aren’t predesigned to assure outcomes. Management being equal, you would see a much different makeup from a moderate than a conservative and that’s why political philosophy matters. If there was a war on policy, I would much rather be speaker than leader!

      1. Troy Jones

        I agree with what you say and don’t mean to dismiss ideological inclinations. It is just my opinion that day-to-day impact as Majority Leader results in greater impact on policy, all other things being equal.


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