Steve Westra, who by all accounts was going to be the next House majority leader, has decided to take a pass this election:
Rep. Steve Westra, R-Sioux Falls, withdrew his candidacy this week and told party leaders he didn’t plan to return to Pierre. His decision leaves an opening for another Republican to become House Majority Leader following Rep. Brian Gosch’s exit from the Legislature.
(Minnehaha County GOP Chair Dave) Roetman said he was saddened to see Westra leave the Legislature, but confident the party would find a candidate to fill his spot.
“I like Steve Westra personally and in leadership, he did a great job of representing the Republican party,” Roetman said Friday morning.
Whomever is appointed to take Westra’s ballot position should have little trouble winning in this very Republican District. However, it is sad to see Steve leaving. We wish him well in his future endeavors.
As noted, this also opens up the Majority Leadership position. I was discussing this with a friend & legislator this morning who personally saw this as an opportunity for Larry Rhoden, who had formerly been Majority Leader to step back in and fill the void. (They also noted they believe State Rep Kent Peterson may be a candidate for Assistant.)
Just like when the Senate had a big turnover before the last election, this will mean the incoming speaker, Mark Mickelson, will be playing an even more significant role as the voice of experience.
Never a dull moment.