JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Poplar Bluff Republican Todd Richardson officially announced to his caucus that he would be seeking the position of Majority Floor Leader next year, and support among the majority appears overwhelmingly in the second-generation lawmaker’s favor.
Richardson who is nearing the halfway mark of his time in the House, commands a veritable slew of southeast Republicans that see the son of a former Minority Leader as the de facto leader on the issue.
Todd Richardson’s father, Mark Richardson, served for 12 years as a Republican in the House before his party won the majority after term limits went into affect. Mark Richardson eventually rose to prominence within his party to become minority floor leader, a position he is still remembered fondly for.
“I really look to [my father] and his example,” Todd Richardson said. “There’s a lot of thought that went into this, and a lot of asking members and talking to friends. But I also thought a lot about my father and what kind of work I wanted to do.”
Richardson said he was thrilled to seek the position because he feels the Republican caucus is poised for “greatness,” and possess a wealth of talent.
“We’ve never had more energy, more creativity or more talent in our caucus,” Todd Richardson. “Do expectations sometimes get raised to a level that we maybe can’t meet? Sure. But we will always be willing to take on that challenge to do things like we did today in overriding the Governor.”
Richardson says tax policy will continue to remain on his radar if he’s elected floor leader, but also said he anticipates a lot more education bills. He’s also looking to resurrect caucus policy development committees to create better legislation.
“I think we need some of these ad hoc committees to create public policy that is driven by our caucus,” Todd Richardson said. “Our caucus needs to be crafting and riving policy, not the people paid to hang around in these hallways.”
Todd Richardson said he was “thrilled” at the prospect of working under Speaker-elect John Diehl.
“John is a judicious guy who is very open to input,” Todd Richardson said. “We have a great working relationship and a really good personal relationship. We don’t agree on every issue but we have a lot of respect for each other, and I think we will be able to run a very smooth caucus. I think we could have one of the most productive relationships between a floor leader and a speaker that we’ve seen in a long time.”
Caucus shows great support
Todd is a great friend and a great leader. He will be a tremendous asset to our caucus as Majority Floor Leader. He knows the issues and will serve an instrumental role in helping our caucus achieve our shared priorities and policy goals. He has my full support and I look forward to working with him in the coming years.
– John Diehl
We came in together and have been friends since day one. He’ will make an excellent floor leader and I support him.
– Bill Reiboldt
I am very happy to support Rep. Todd Richardson for floor leader. Todd demonstrates great leadership qualities. In almost 4 years I have known him, I have witnessed nothing to question his honesty, integrity or ability to work with Speaker-elect Diehl to lead our caucus to greater unity and success the next two years.
– Sue Allen
I was so excited when I heard he was going to announce. He has proven time and time again that he is a man of character. He always demonstrated leadership qualities. I’m excited for him.
– Sonya Anderson
He’s a five-tool player, great choice for us, perfect choice. I think he’ll do great.
Todd has all the qualities of a great leader — the intellect to grasp policy detail the guts to make tough decisions, and the personality and patience to generate consensus on controversial issues.
– Jay Barnes
I think Todd will do an excellent job of Majority Floor Leader.
– Mike Bernskoetter
I’ve been calling him “Mr. Speaker,” since our freshman year. I see this as the natural process to him becoming that.
– T.J. Berry
I think he’s a great guy, well respected. I think he’ll be a great asset to our caucus.
– Rick Brattin
Todd is great at working difficult bills and at times when he needs to be he can be like a willow tree, but he is rooted in conservative issues.
– Eric Burlison
With his judgment and style, he will move our agenda forward.
– Mike Cierpiot
I couldn’t be happier. I spotted Todd’s ability the second week we worked together. I told him then that if he ever ran for anything I would support him.
– Kathie Conway
Todd is going to make an outstanding floor leader. He’s a natural leader. I’ve known him since he was an Eagle Scout. He comes from a respected family and he’s highly respected from those around the state.
– Steve Cookson
Todd brings statesman’s approach to the development of public policy. He is able to bring people together to build consensus. I believe he will be a real asset to our leadership team.
– Anne Zerr
He’s a natural, like Robert Redford in ‘The Natural.’
– Chris Molendorp
I’m excited about Todd, we came in as freshman together we’ve been good friends. He’s a good guy he’ll be a great leader, I’m happy to support him.
– Lincoln Hough
We are friends and I’ve always supported him. I plan on supporting him for this position and I looking forward to helping him get there.
– Dave Hinson
Todd Richardson is an extremely intelligent leader that has consistently led our caucus in working through tough issues. I could not be more pleased to support Todd in his race for Floor Leader.
– Robert Cornejo
Todd’s a great guy.
I think Todd has a. lot to offer. He works with people on an individual basis. When you have a hundred people in your caucus, you need someone like Todd.
– Gary L. Cross
I’m all for it, he’s been a good friend. He is good with people and he has got a good general knowledge and leadership skills. He’s got the right knowledge to lead the General Assembly.
– Paul Curtman
I think Todd Richardson would make a fantastic Majority Floor Leader. He has listened to my concerns and has worked with me on veteran’s legislation. I think he will make a fantastic floor leader and one-day speaker.
– Charlie Davis
I am excited that Todd Richardson has decided to run for Majority Floor Leader in the 98th General Assembly. Representative Richardson is a colleague and a friend to all in the Missouri House of Representatives. He is an extremely accomplished member of this body and a very capable leader. His experience and knowledge will be of great value to our state.
– Dean Dohrman
Good, I think Todd has demonstrated to the caucus that he’s a good leader, he has demonstrated his abilities. I’m very happy to support him.
– Tony Dugger
I’m all for it – he’s a fine person. He has got a lot of experience I think he will be fair.
– Kevin Engler
He’s always stood out as a leader without being forced. Since the day I met Todd I knew he had the ability and charisma to be floor leader.
– Scott Fitzpatrick
As a former Coach, I know the importance of teamwork and what it takes to be a successful team. Everyone brings individual skills and abilities to the arena, but you need an effective Coach to help guide and direct the team to victory. Todd knows that respect isn’t given, it’s earned. Todd’s hard work and character has earned him the respect and trust of all his colleagues and I look forward to working together as a team under his leadership moving forward. I’ll be happy to support Todd in all his future endeavors.
– Paul Fitzwater
Todd is a great leader and a great asset your caucus and he is truly one of the bright rising stars in our party.
– Lyndall Fraker
I support Todd.
– Keith Frederick
Todd is one of the most skillful and qualified new representatives I’ve had the pleasure of working with in my eight years in the House. I’m confident he will be an evenhanded and thoughtful leader.
– Doug Funderburk
Todd is a very honorable man and I look forward to working with him.
– Elaine Gannon
I think it’s great he’s positioned himself in the last four years here and has not been in a leadership position but has had a leadership role here. He’s been some one we can go to for advice.
– Don Gosen
From the first week I was here, I told him he would be a future speaker and he will be a great floor leader and probably a future governor or senator.
– Jeff Grisamore
I would encourage the caucus to support Todd, as he is one of the smartest guys I’ve gotten to serve with and is a true conservative.
– Casey Guernsey
Todd is one of the most intelligent, approachable, and earnest members of our caucus. His ability to carry complex legislation, to communicate his vision on the floor, and to help his colleagues refine and improve their own legislation make him the perfect floor leader for our caucus.
– Elijah Haahr
I think it’s great. I’m all about integrity and he’s got that. He’s always treated me fairly and I like that, and he’s never lied to me.
– Ron Hicks
I’m extremely confident in Todd’s ability to lead our caucus and run the House floor.
– Denny Hoskins
I think Todd’s a stand-up, forthright honest, guy who I think will do a great job.
– Jay Houghton
Todd is a good friend and someone that I know will always have the interests of Missouri when he steps in the Capitol.
– Caleb Jones
Todd is an accomplished legislator, a strong leader, and a hard worker for the caucus. He will be an excellent Floor Leader and I know the House will be in good hands.
– Tim Jones
I think it’s great. I think he’d be a great asset to our caucus.
– Delus Johnson
I was excited to hear his announcement he’s great with dealing with complicated issues and the emotions that go along with that. He’ll be a great leader.
– Shelley Keeney
Todd has had my full support since the day we came into the assembly. I look forward to working with him as Majority Floor Leader.
– Mike Kelley
I think he’ll probably do a good job.
– Andrew Koenig
Todd will be a great candidate and has my support.
– Glen Kolkmeyer
I think it’s good. I think we should have a few candidates to fill that position, and I think Todd’s a good candidate.
– Bart Korman
I am 100% in favor of it I think Todd has proven himself to be a good leader. I expect good things out of him.
– Bill Lant
I think he is certainly qualified. I don’t know who else is running, so it would be definitely premature for me to give my support or not, but he is qualified to do the job.
– Mike Lair
I will fully support Rep. Richardson as he seeks the Majority Floor Leader position. Todd exemplifies the qualities necessary to be effective floor leader and I look forward to his leadership.
– Mike Leara
I’m delighted to support Rep. Todd Richardson. I have encouraged him to run for this position when it was right for him. He will be a very outstanding leader.
– Donna Lichtenegger
He has all the credentials and is qualified. He has respect for his fellow members and he has an opportunity to be a leader for Missouri.
– Warren Love
I’m thrilled. I really appreciate what Todd has done. I’ve watched him and he is very competent to do the job.
– Steve Lynch
Awesome, I’m a big supporter.
– Joe Don McGaugh
I’m very pleased that he is running. He will make a fantastic floor leader and he has all of my support.
– Rocky Miller
Some one’s got to step up to the plate, he’s been in the house a while a lot of people respect him.
– Mike Moon
I think Todd Richardson if elected would make a very good Floor Leader. He’s well spoken, well educated; he will be an asset to the body.
– Dave Muntzel
That sounds great, I’m all for it.
– Jim Neely
I support it.
– Myron Neth
I think he’s a great guy.
– Jeff Pogue
Todd and I came in together since I’ve known him he’s shown nothing but honesty and integrity. I think he will make a great majority floor leader.
– Craig Redmon
It’s a perfect position for him, he’s very fair, and he’s a problem solver and that is very important when dealing with over 100 members.
– Holly Rehder
Todd Richardson is the type of individual that focuses on helping his colleagues reach success; which will define the future of the caucus and is precisely what is required of our leadership.
– Robert Ross
Todd has showed he has the right qualities to be a leader, in helping others in the caucus and is always there to support what the caucus does. No matter what the problem is, Todd is there to help, which makes him an excellent choice for Majority Floor Leader.
– Shawn Rhoads
I think he’s great.
– Jeanie Riddle
Todd is an incredible leader who balances strong political acumen with the ability to build strong relationships better than anyone I know in the political world. He will be a great Floor Leader.
– Caleb Rowden
He’s terrific. If he can imagine it, he can do it. He has a bright future.
– Dwight Scharnhorst
I’m pleased he is running, I would be supportive of Todd.
– Dave Schatz
He’s a good man and he knows what he’s doing he’s got experience; he’s got what it takes to do it. We’ve got a lot of talented people here but I know he can do the job.
– Lindell Shumake
Todd Richardson is a gifted and talented legislator who has helped me and been a mentor for the past 4 years. Todd is not only a good friend of mine, but he is a good friend to the entire caucus. He will do an awesome job as Floor Leader and will listen to our members and do what is best for the people of Missouri.
– Shiela Solon
Todd has shown the ability to be a leader on tough issues; He will make an excellent floor leader. I’m looking forward to the great thing the House will accomplish under his leadership in the coming years.
– Rick Stream
Rep. Richardson has the innate ability to assess an issue, weigh alternatives, and seek compromise in a professional, respectful manner. These attributes define an effective leader and will serve him well as Majority Floor Leader of the Missouri House.
– Kathryn Swan
I couldn’t think of a better leader. He will be great not only for our caucus, but for the state of Missouri as a whole.
– Noel Torpey
Having served with both Todd and his father, Mark, I continue to appreciate the leadership skills of the Richardson family. I am confident that Todd will serve the caucus with distinction as floor leader just as Mark served as Minority Leader.
– Paul Wieland
Leadership is all about influence. Influence is gain. A leader who displays this will have commitment, perseverance, and those will follow. Todd not only displays leadership with his colleagues, but with his family. He will always have my support.
– Ken Wilson
Others react to announcement
Todd Richardson is a skilled legislator who has all the natural attributes to be an outstanding floor leader, and he will do both his caucus and the entire General Assembly proud.
– John Bardgett
Todd has the demeanor and aptitude to be one of the most effective leaders in the Missouri House has ever elected. What sets him apart is he has the unique ability to bring people together through ideas and solid thoughtful arguments rather than coercion and pressure. He does the hard work of working with people to develop a consensus and a good communicator which will be particularly helpful in dealing with the governor and senate.
– David Barklage
In the ten years I’ve known Rep. Richardson, no one’s word means more. His honesty and integrity are unquestionable and he will continue to bring great leadership to our state.
– Chris Roepe
Todd will be a great leader for the House of Representatives. Just look at how he took the reigns on the oral chemotherapy issue.
– Sam Wiles
I find Representative Richardson to be one of the clearest thinking, dedicated public officials I have ever had the privilege to work with in over 25 years of practice in Jefferson City. Todd’s skills as a lawyer and politician will serve this state and its citizens well for many, many years.
– Jon Dalton
Todd has all the attributes to be a great leader! Intellectual, driven, team player, hard worker! He is the total package.
– Steven Tilley
Richardson is a natural leader in the Missouri legislature. He is a man of courage, conviction and hard work. Todd will make a great Majority Floor Leader!
– Kyna Iman
Todd Richardson gets it. I have never seen a member so quickly break down and master the process of moving legislation like Todd Richardson does. He has a great feel for the entire legislative process. He is great with people and has great political instincts. He is the clear choice for the caucus to become the next floor leader.
– Andy Blunt
From the first time I met Todd, I knew he would rise to leadership. Todd has always been passionate about firefights and has always been there when we needed help!
– Mark Habbas
Rep. Richardson is a natural leader who possesses the intellect and people skills necessary for the job of Majority Floor Leader.
– Robert Knodell
Todd has the policy, procedure and personality to work through any issue and be a great floor leader.
– Jorgen Schlemeier
Todd will make a great Majority Floor Leader. He is smart, listens, and has a great attitude and picks his fights. All of which are important attributes.
– James Harris
Five is like a five-tool baseball player. He is mastering every aspect of public service and the legislative process.
– Brian Grace
Good guy, great legislator and a legit leader for the future of the House, the Party and the Republic.
– Jeff Roe
Collin Reischman is the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. To contact Collin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @CMReischman