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Mike Henderson joins House speaker pro tem race


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Rep. Mike Henderson informed his colleagues he is running for House speaker pro tem Thursday. 

Henderson, a Republican from HD 117 in St. Francois County, said he is the communicator House leadership will need in the upcoming sessions. 

“The experience I have accumulated over the years has led me to understand leadership is about being able to stand strong when necessary and being able to put aside your ego for the good of the group,” Henderson said in the letter to colleagues and shared with The Missouri Times. “It is my belief that leadership positions are created to serve the caucus, not for those positions to control the caucus. We are all public servants and as such should understand that we serve our constituents and the leaders serve to help caucus members.” 

Henderson was first elected to the legislature in 2016 and was awarded the “Friend of Agriculture” distinction by the Missouri Farm Bureau in 2020. He is the chairman of the House Workforce Development Committee. 

Henderson is a former educator and coach and has a background in farming — which he said underscores his work in the General Assembly. 

“I have found with age comes wisdom but more so age allows us to speak up when necessary without fear of the consequences and to listen when necessary,” Henderson said. “I have found that we learn more from listening to people than from trying to lead them where they do not want to go.” 

Henderson told The Missouri Times he would make a good vessel for communication with his caucus to ensure other representatives understand what’s at hand when the speaker and floor leader are busy. He noted he was frustrated when his fellow caucus members struggle with the flow of information. 

“I think if you don’t come up here and try to make things better for the people, then you’re probably here for the wrong reasons. You run for this office because you have a feeling that you can make things better for the people of Missouri and the people in your district, the people you represent,” Henderson said.  

Reps. Ben Baker and Jim Murphy also threw their hats in the ring for the House speaker pro tem position this week. The election will be held in the fall of 2022 after Election Day. 

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