Jefferson City, Mo. — Rep. Doug Richey, R- Excelsior Springs, will run to be 2025-2026 Speaker of the House.
Richey has represented House District (HD) 38 for two terms. He’s running unopposed in for his third term in HD 39 after redistricting.
If elected by his fellow Representatives, Richey’s path to Speaker will be unorthodox. Richey is running for Speaker without first serving as the Majority Floor Leader.
Though there have been past Speakers who haven’t previously served as Floor Leader, it is the easiest path to the position. Floor Leaders generally gain vast political sway in the House, making their path to election smoother.
Term-limited Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, served as Floor Leader for four years before being elected. Dean Plocher, R-St. Louis County, was unanimously elected to serve as the 2023-2024 Speaker in 2021, he currently serves as the Majority Floor Leader.
Richey doesn’t see his lack of Floor Leader experience as the determining factor in his run for Speaker. He sees his skillset as being well suited for the position, something he hopes will stand more important than previous experience.
“I knew that it would be a very different route for me at to that office, should the caucus trust me with that responsibility. Because I wasn’t interested in serving as Floor Leader. My skill set is much better aligned with the Speaker’s responsibilities,” Richey said.
“As the title would indicate, the Speaker is the mouth-piece for the House. And you have to not only have the ability, but be comfortable with speaking publicly on behalf of the House in a way that’s clear and convictional and yet is not going to create problems for the House or the state of Missouri. And that’s something I’ve done for well over two decades and enjoy that,” he added.
The election for Speaker will be held about a year from now, giving Richey two sessions to garner support from his fellow Representatives.
Richey feels he will be able to get that support, regardless of ideological or geographical differences. He thinks his time as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Federal Stimulus Spending gave him connections to the different regions of Missouri.
“That was a tremendous opportunity and experience to both serve the state of Missouri, but also to continue to gain a better understanding of where we all are, as representing our individual districts back home,” Richey said.
Instead of focusing on a specific base of Representatives for support, Richey wants to take a broad approach to finding his support for election.
“The kind of speakership that I desire is a speakership that truly is supported by more than just a particular base,” Richey said. “I would love to be able to say that the caucus, in general, made up of a lot of different personalities, made up of a lot of different perspectives, has recognized the capabilities of leadership that can help move us all in a common direction.”
Featured Image: Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, speaks during a committee hearing in the Capitol on March 2020. Richey has served two terms in the House. (HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS/TIM BOMMEL)
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