The Missouri House speaker pro tem nominee says it’s very clear what direction voters want state government to go, following Tuesday’s elections.
In addition to electing Navy SEAL Eric Greitens (R) as governor, Missourians also elected GOP super-majorities in both the House and Senate. House Republicans have elected state Rep. Elijah Haahr (R-Springfield) as House speaker pro tem.
“The statewide candidates that we had laid out a very clear message to the voters that contrasted with the Democratic Party, and I think the voters chose very clearly that they liked and agreed with that Republican message,” Haahr says.
Haahr will replace state Rep. Denny Hoskins (R-Warrensburg) as speaker pro tem. Hoskins has been elected to the Missouri Senate.
Republicans will control the House in January 117-46. Haahr is hopeful right-to-work will pass in 2017, with a Republican governor who supports such legislation and strong GOP majorities in both chambers.
“I voted for right-to-work every year it’s been up. I think it’s been a priority of the House every year it’s been up,” says Haahr. “I think we’ve got more of an opportunity this year obviously with a Republican governor than we’ve ever had in the past. I’m very excited to see that happen.”
Right-to-work says that a person cannot be required to join or refrain from joining a labor organization, as a condition of employment. Democrats and labor organizations oppose right-to-work, saying it will lower wages for Missourians.
Haahr tells Missourinet southwest Missouri is well-represented on the House GOP leadership team, noting state Rep. Kevin Austin (R-Springfield) is assistant majority floor leader and that state Rep. Jeff Messenger (R-Republic) is the policy development chair. Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard (R) is also from Joplin in southwest Missouri.
“Obviously, I think southwest Missouri has a bigger seat now, and I think that’s reflective of the large Republican presence down there,” Haahr says.
The 2017 legislative session begins on January 4. The full House will formally vote on a speaker pro tem after session begins.