Did I hear the sound of cooperation coming out of Pierre this morning?
Because word is that after two prior Speakers that were a bit of a train wreck, House members broke with tradition and are starting fresh, choosing to select people completely new to lead the body and the caucus.
Hugh Bartels of Watertown is said to have successfully turned aside Speaker Pro Tempore Jon Hansen in a break from tradition which would have elevated him to the position of Speaker of the House. Mike Stevens was ultimately unopposed and will be the next Speaker Pro Tempore.
On the more political side, Will Mortenson won the position of House Majority Leader, and Taylor Rehfeldt won the position of Assistant Majority Leader.
Mortenson and Rehfeldt will be starting their second terms of office with both having 2 more terms available after that, which has the potential to provide fairly stable leadership in the House for some time to come. In addition, both are strong campaigners, which bodes well for House Republican efforts in upcoming elections.
(**Update – Wangsness, Drury, Chaffee, Blare, and Cammack are whips for the upcoming term)
Congratulations to all!