JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri House Republican caucus has elected new leadership off of the heels of maintaining their supermajority of 116 members in the 2018 midterm elections.
“Throughout the past months, Republicans presented bold, 21st Century solutions to develop a strong workforce and create jobs, offering Missourians a chance to achieve the American Dream,” said Speaker of the House Elijah Haahr. “Last night, voters sent a clear message affirming our vision for the future of Missouri by electing one of the largest majorities in the history of the House of Representatives.We are honored by the trust and confidence in our colleagues to lead our united Republican majority to serve the people of Missouri. Now with our strong leadership team in place, House Republicans are eager to begin the work of governing and remain committed to putting our solutions into action.”
SPEAKER PRO TEM
Rep. John Wiemann will serve as the next speaker pro tem for the chamber.
Wiemann, an insurance broker and president/CEO of Midwest Physician Insurance Advisors, is entering his junior term in the House. The St. Charles representative currently serves as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Creation and Appointments and as vice-chairman of the House Insurance Policy Committee.
Wiemann and his wife, Yvette, reside in O’Fallon. They have two children, Blake and Clayton.
MAJORITY FLOOR LEADER
Rep. Rob Vescovo was renewed as the majority floor leader by acclaim of the caucus. Vescovo was chosen as floor leader after Sen. Mike Cierpiot was elected to the State Senate, vacating the leadership position.
ASSISTANT MAJORITY FLOOR LEADER
As assistant majority floor leader, incoming junior Rep. J. Eggleston was chosen by the caucus after a three-way vote between Reps. Shamed Dogan, Jared Taylor, and Eggleston.
Rep. Steve Lynch was chosen to continue as majority caucus whip by acclaim. He is an ex-officio member of all committees. Lynch also serves on the Missouri Veterans Commission as a commissioner and the Missouri Council for Interstate Compact for Educational Opportunity for Military Children as a council member.
Prior to his legislative duties, Lynch was a business leader for 35 years as the third generation owner of his family’s retail furniture store in St. Robert.
Lynch currently lives in Waynesville with his wife of over 46 years. They have three children, nine grandchildren, and three great-granddaughters.
Lynch continues a family tradition of public service starting with his grandfather, the first mayor of St. Robert.
Rep. Sonya Anderson, a small business owner with over 20 years experience in small business and management, was chosen as the next caucus chair. Anderson is entering her senior term in the House, where she represents Springfield, where she also serves on the 7th District Missouri Republican Assembly Executive Board of Directors.
In the House, Anderson has been a leader for agriculture. She currently serves as the chairman of the Conservation and Natural Resources Committee.
Anderson is a seventh generation Green Countian. Her and her husband, Jim, have two sons, Zack and Tyler.
As majority caucus secretary, Rep. Chris Dinkins edged out over Rep. Lynn Morris. Dinkins represents Washington, Wayne, Reynolds, and Iron Counties. She won re-election to her second term on Tuesday, having been elected in a special election to replace former Rep. Paul Fitzwater.
POLICY DEVELOPMENT CHAIR
Rep. Jeff Messenger, who is entering his senior term representing a large part of southwest Missouri, was chosen as policy development chair. Messenger owns and operates a prosthetics and orthotics company that has expanded throughout southwest Missouri. He previously sold his water well drilling company.
He and his wife, Wanda, have been married since 1969. Their two sons work alongside them in the family business.
The House Democrats elected two freshmen to the top posts in their caucus, with Rep. Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, and Rep. DaRon McGee, D-Kansas City, winning minority floor leader and assistant minority floor leader, respectively.
“I am very humbled by the overwhelming support and encouragement I have received from my fellow caucus members and I am eager to hit the ground running on creating policies and tackling issues that impact our great state,” said Quade.
“The results of the recent election showed us that Missourians agree with Democrats on a number of issues. Citizens stood firmly with workers and their rights by defeating right-to-work. Missourians agreed with the idea of citizens deserving a fair living wage and cleaning up the culture of corruption in state government. We showed compassion and care for others by legalizing medical marijuana. I’m excited to continue working on these issues and I remain committed to making sure our Republican colleagues do not go against the will of the people.”
MINORITY FLOOR LEADER
Quade was elected in 2016. In her first term, she took an active role on the House Budget Committee. She previously interned for then-Rep. Charlie Norr, who she replaced.
She also serves as a Greene County Democratic Committeewoman and is a member of the League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri and The Kitchen, Inc. She has also worked with the Springfield Community Focus Report Civic Engagement Team.
Quade and her husband, Kevin Waterland, have three children: Aydin, Naomi, and Alexa.
ASSISTANT MINORITY FLOOR LEADER
McGee was elected in the 2015 special election and was re-elected to his second term in the House on Tuesday. He represents south Kansas City.
He previously served as the Minority Caucus Secretary.
Prior to his legislative duties, Rep. McGee worked on Capitol Hill as Congressional Black Caucus Fellow and intern for United States Senator Claire McCaskill. McGee worked as a Program Administrator for Jackson County’s COMBAT Program before his election to the House.
He is currently a member of the South Kansas City Alliance, South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Southern Coalition, Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 6355 & Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church.
CAUCUS CHAIR AND SECRETARY
Rep. Tommie Pierson Jr. was chosen by the caucus as chairman, with Rep. Barbara Washington as caucus secretary.
Pierson was elected in 2016 to represent part of St. Louis County and City. He is a math teacher in North St. Louis and pastor of inStep Church.
Washington was elected in the 2017 special election to represent part of Jackson County.
Rep. Brandon Ellington, who was just elected to his senior term, was chosen as the minority whip.
Ellington is involved in-district with food pantries, starting neighborhood cleanup programs, mentorship programs, elderly assist programs, community outreach programs, and coaching youth in basketball. He is the cofounder of Voices of the People, We The People and serves as president of I Am My Brother’s Keeper.
LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS
The Legislative Black Caucus elected their new executive board on Thursday with Rep. Steven Roberts Jr, D-St. Louis, as chairman.
Incoming representatives Ashley Manlove, D-Kansas City, and LaKeysha Bosley, D-St. Louis, were also elected to the executive board. Manlove will serve as vice chair and Bosley as secretary.
Rep. Richard Brown, D-Kansas City was elected treasurer.
Rachael Herndon is the editor at The Missouri Times, and also produces This Week in Missouri Politics, publishes Missouri Times Magazine, and co-hosts the #moleg podcast. She joined the Missouri Times in 2014, returning to political reporting after working as a campaign and legislative staffer.
Rachael studied at the University of Missouri – Columbia. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband, Brandon, and their two children.
To contact Rachael, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @TheRachDunn.