JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Less than a day after a strong night for Republican candidates across the state, the House Republican Caucus selected its new speaker pro tem, majority caucus chair, and majority whip.
Rep. Elijah Haahr won the election to become the majority caucus’ speaker pro tem nominee after defeating Rep. Delus Johnson. Rep. Joe Don McGaugh dropped his bid for the position sometime during the proceedings. Haahr stressed he had not yet officially taken over the role of speaker pro tem, but the Republican caucus will likely elect him in January over the Democratic caucus’ nominee.
Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer topped Reps. Elaine Gannon, Mike Kelley and Becky Ruth to become caucus chair.
Rep. Steve Lynch will become the new majority whip. Speaker Todd Richardson also announced that Rep. Marsha Haefner, the chairwoman of the Fiscal Review Committee, would also join the leadership team and its returning members.
Richardson said that the 117-member caucus, which matched the largest Republican majority in House history, would be ready to tackle the coming legislative session.
“Our task is to get to work. This is a group of some of the most talented men and women you will ever meet. I could not be more excited to be returning as Speaker of the House with this kind of caucus,” Richardson said. “We’ll be spending the next couple of months to hit the ground running in January.”
Haahr said the results from Tuesday’s election had emboldened the caucus to continue creating conservative policy.
“What we saw yesterday is that the statewide candidates that we had laid out a very clear message to the voters that contrasted with the Democratic Party and I think the voters chose very clearly that they like and agree with that Republican message,” Haahr said. “I think it’s very clear the direction voters want the state to go and we plan to move that direction.”