Richardson chosen as House Republicans elect leadership


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri House Republicans of the 98th General Assembly elected Rep. Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, to serve as their new Majority Floor Leader under Speaker-elect John Diehl, R-Town and Country.

The 117 Republicans that won office last night in the Missouri House came to Jefferson City today to immediately elect new leaders for the coming legislative session which is set to begin in January. Former Majority Floor Leader Diehl will be officially elected as Speaker when the full body convenes. Richardson’s ascension to the top leadership post signals yet another step forward for a lawmaker considered a rising star within the party.

The caucus meeting of Republicans began with waves when Rep. Linda Black — who won re-election last night as an unopposed Democrat — joined the meeting and formally announced she was becoming a member of the Republican Party.

Republicans also elected their full leadership, which remains largely unchanged from the 97th General Assembly.

Rep. Denny Hoskins was chosen to continue serving as Speaker Pro Tem, Rep. Mike Cierpiot, R-Jackson County, faced no opposition as Assistant Majority Floor Leader. Rep. Shelley Keeney won her re-election bid for caucus chair, while Rep. Delus Johnson, R-Buchannan, was selected as Majority Whip. Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Cole, won an unchallenged bid for caucus secretary.