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Vescovo announces bid for House Speaker


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo has officially thrown his hat into the ring for House Speaker.

The 42-year-old Republican — who has served as the majority floor leader for two years — said he’s running for the leadership position because of his “desire to serve our caucus and help every one of you achieve your individual goals.”

“Two years ago, I committed to serving our caucus by promoting our members’ unique strengths, making floor activity more predictable, working to further the agenda of the Missouri House of Representatives, fundraising and fighting for our members during the election cycle, and being available to the members to hear their concerns,” Vescovo said in an email to caucus members. “I hope that you agree I have and continue to fulfill my promises to our caucus and see fit to promote me to serve as our Speaker and I humbly ask for your support.”

Thus far, Vescovo is vying to succeed Elijah Haahr as the state House speaker unopposed. He said he’s already gotten support from “many,” including Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann.

“You can’t go back in on your word in life or in politics.”

Representing the 112th district, Vescovo, a father of five, first successfully ran for the state House in 2014, and has been re-elected twice since. When he was vying for the Majority Floor Leader position, he told The Missouri Times his working-class district helped guide his leadership style.

“I … have seen firsthand what the state of Missouri can do that helps people, or, unfortunately, hurts people struggling to remain in the middle class,” he said at the time. “I believe I can bring a common-sense perspective to our leadership table that strengthens our caucus and strengthens our state.”

He has also garnered a reputation in the state House for being honest — albeit, at times, blunt.

“You can’t go back in on your word in life or in politics,” Vescovo told The Missouri Times in a December interview. “Your word is everything. If you tell someone you are with them, you need to be with them. If you tell someone you are not with them, then let them earn your support. If you are undecided, and you are truly undecided, tell them you are undecided.”

The speaker-designee will be chosen in just a few months during the summer caucus, but he or she will not officially be voted on by the entire House until the 101st General Assembly convenes.

Haahr is not running for the speakership again due to term limits. He made history when he was elected as the youngest in the country — then, just 36 years old. He was also the first speaker in Missouri’s history from Springfield.