JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Since the spring, the post of Speaker Pro Tem in the Missouri House has been vacant after Jason Smith was elected to Congress in a special election.
Last week, Rep. Denny Hoskins, R-Warrensburg, won the nomination for the post at the statewide caucus meeting. He still must be officially elected by the full House during veto session, but will have no competition. Hoskins defeated Rep. Jeanie Riddle, R-Fulton, in the race. During the final weeks of their campaigning, Riddle had to take a break from her efforts after her brother passed away.
Hoskins won the post despite having clashed with current House Speaker Tim Jones during the last legislative session.
Jones and Hoskins were briefly at odds when Hoskins, a Certified Personal Accountant, voted against an education reform package in the fiscal review committee he sits on, a package strongly backed by Jones. Jones yanked Hoskins from the committee the same day.
Hoskins told The Missouri Times that one of his primary goals was “alleviating tensions or disagreements” within the caucus and allow more member input in leadership decisions, which he said has resulted in some inside fighting.
“We all have some common goals of what we want to get done,” Hoskins said. “But we have to be more interested in finding where the common ground is, because in every caucus and especially one as large as ours, there’s going to be disagreement and that’s okay.”
Hoskins said he was “determined,” to work with leadership on including the caucus as a whole in the decision-making process, and said he hoped to play a “serious role” in policy discussions. Hoskins said that he strongly supported the override of Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of House Bill 253, and that if the override failed, the House should re-craft the bill to attract more votes and send it back to Nixon’s desk.
Hoskins said his own focus would be on economic development bills, something Republican leadership has already voiced desire for, and that he would support “Right to Work” efforts in any way he could.
Collin Reischman is the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. To contact Collin, email firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @CMReischman