SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield, has become the second official candidate to become the next House Speaker of Missouri after sitting Speaker Todd Richardson leaves office at the end of 2018 due to term limits. Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters, officially entered the race last week.
In an announcement letter sent Wednesday afternoon to his fellow Republican caucus members, Haahr says many members of the group have approached him about running for the spot. He said the decision to ultimately run was one he did not “take lightly.”
“After meeting with members of our caucus over the past several weeks, I am confident I have the support needed to secure the nomination,” Haahr said.
Haahr added he hopes to use the position to push the conservative priorities that have defined the House for the better part of the 21st century.
“Meeting with caucus members has also given me the chance to discuss the issues and concerns affecting your districts and all areas of our state,” Haahr said. “As Speaker, my focus will be on caucus priorities, not my own, and towards our shared solutions to benefit our state.”
Haahr has served as Speaker Pro Tem since the beginning of the 2017 legislative session, and he presided over the House for a solid portion of a frantic final two weeks of session. Before assuming that role, he held important posts within the House in his five sessions in Jefferson City, namely his role as the chairman of the now disbanded Emerging Issues Committee.
Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston, expressed interest on an early April episode of This Week in Missouri Politics.
Haahr’s full letter can be read below.