Rep. Engler comments on the race for next Speaker of the House


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Representative Kevin Engler was invited onto this week’s episode of the #MoLeg Podcast to give his opinions and perception on the current matters pressing in Missouri government, most notably the next race for Speaker of the House.

According to a recent poll, the Missouri Times audience wanted to hear about the next race for Speaker of the House with Engler’s unique perspective leading the conversation. Engler is a former state senator and now serves as a representative. It’s that service in both the House and the Senate that makes him so knowledgeable and gives him insight regarding leadership.

Engler stated that it’s an interesting proposition to have to choose the speaker designee a year out. While a difficult process, he agrees with it more now than ever. Previously, fundraising was done “rep-to-rep” but due to new ethics laws fundraising must now be done through the HRCC in order to fund races. This would give candidates a window before the end of the year to raise money and to immediately start campaigning after the session.

When asked if he was aware of the current state of the race and if he supported any one specific candidate, Engler responded, “I’m not supporting anybody out right. I think it’s Elijah [Haahr]’s to lose.” Going into more detail, he compared Haahr’s position to the same situation he was in a few years ago in that, noting that Haahr could lose out to the majority of representatives.

It was mentioned that in the House, the frontrunner for Speaker has a higher percentage of winning. Engler went to use an analogy to explain that was because of the larger numbers.

“You can turn your basketball team around much quicker than you can a football team. There’s five players versus eleven,” Engler said. “The same way in the Senate, when you only have to pick off two or three leaning compared to 15 or 20 that are leaning, the game’s more difficult.”

Drawing from his years of experience, Engler said that it would be beneficial to let the senior class vote for Speaker also, citing that the knowledge gained from their time in such positions would be valuable in determining the next Speaker of the House. Although, while he believes this would be a good idea, he conceded that the process would not be impaired.

Expressing his concerns for what was to come, Engler said that it was strange to hear that Governor Eric Greitens was giving his opinion on this topic, supporting one candidate for the position. While unsure of the validity of this claim, he stated that if this was, in fact, true, it might damage the relationship between the governor and the caucus.

The conversation between Engler and the #MoLeg podcast crew encompassed other topics including Josh Hawley’s potential for Senate and his personal predictions on how the St. Louis Cardinals will fare this season.