Word out of Pierre this AM is that Bartels in as Speaker, Mortenson, Rehfeldt as Maj and Asst Maj Leader.

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!

25 thoughts on “Word out of Pierre this AM is that Bartels in as Speaker, Mortenson, Rehfeldt as Maj and Asst Maj Leader.”

  1. I think Dakota Scout depicts it the best…see twitter feed on left….MODERATES sweep GOP leadership elections.

    No conservative legislation for 2 years

      1. The Dakota Scout is published by authoritarian socialists who refer to the Republican left as moderates. This blog refers to traditional pro-liberty Reagan conservatives as the hard right, and to the Republican left as conservatives.

        1. Joe Sneve and Jon Ellis= “authoritarian socialists”?

          Good one.

          I hope you were mistaking it without the South Dakota Standard

          1. Ellis is better at concealing his authoritarian bias than Sneve, and they’re both more skilled with words than anyone the South Dakota Standard publishes, but neither outlet provides neutral reporting on traditional conservatives.

        2. I think you’re mistaken. Greatly.

          The traditional pro-liberty Reagan conservatives are who won leadership. The hard-right who are against everything had their chance for 4 years in House Leadership, couldn’t shoot straight, and were given the boot.

          1. The ones who were ousted wouldn’t stand for Reagan, because he was not conservative enough for them.

      1. I’ve been told by many that Hansen didn’t call people or call some back.

        When getting challenged it is important to work the relationships.

  2. Seems to me the House Leadership is tilted toward the West River Cowboy Country and neglects representation from Sioux Falls and the James River Valley. Are we concerned that cows aren’t being heard on the floor of our Capitol. Mortonson and five whips from West River including whips from Ideal and Union Center??? While it may be OK for conservatives, I don’t know if this bunch is prepared to tackle South Dakotas real problems with industrial agriculture, eminent domain, taxation and worker housing.

    1. Speaker is from Watertown, Pro Tem from Yankton, Asst Leader from Sioux Falls, and one of the Whips from Miller.

      I agree it would’ve made sense to have a Whip from the SF area though

  3. Two words. Ravnsborg and Natvig.

    Those idiots sunk the conservative wing. Mortenson got 36 votes. Once that happened the right side of history crushed the opposition.

    Need a 3rd word? Haugaard. He challenged the most popular Republican in SD, got destroyed and too many of his house friends didn’t endorse Noem or supported him in a foolish challenge to Noem.

    4th word: Haugaard. He challenged Rhoden and those running for leadership did not publicly offer Rhoden support. They should have been happy with Monae Johnson. She worked hard and earned her win.

  4. Is this the first time speaker pro tem has failed to get elected speaker. Asking for a friend.

  5. Good choices. I heard there was no opposition to Rehfeldt at the end. Insider told me she had the strongest support going in so they gave up after the other two won.

    Mort and Rehfeldt will be a force to be reckoned with… can they bring the house together?

    1. There is no one to bring the two sides togther. All nine leadership posts went to the moderates. In order to biring the two sides together there would need to be people on both sides working to accomplish that. The lines are drawn. For the first time in state history the House has a Speaker that doesn’t have any experience.

      1. 4 years of the mess in the House was enough. A clean break was what House members wanted.

  6. At face value, this group looks like it will get things done while not putting up with the right-wing nutjobs. That said, most of the leadership may be too close to the Governor’s office to truly be an independent body. It will be interesting to watch!

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