State legislators who represent Laclede County may wield quite a bit of clout in next year’s session.
The newly elected and returning members of the Missouri House met Wednesday in Jefferson City to elect their own party leaders for the 2013 legislative session. Senators are to meet today to elect their party leadership.
Rep. Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo, was elected majority whip. Crawford will represent the 129th District, which covers Dallas County and the southwest half of Laclede County.
Republicans chose John Diehl of Town and Country as House majority leader. The majority leader is responsible for deciding which bills are brought up for debate and when legislation should be set aside.
Jason Smith, of Salem, is the Republican nominee for House speaker pro tem. He and Speaker Tim Jones will face election for those positions by the full House in January.
Meanwhile, 28th District Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, is scheduled to find out today if he will be chosen as Senate majority floor leader.
Crawford told The Daily Record early today she sought the role of majority whip because she believed southwest Missouri did not have enough representation among the leadership.
“I actually announced to the caucus months ago I was going to run for this position. It seemed like nobody from the southwest Missouri area or the rural areas, there was nobody at that point in time really talking about running for leadership. I thought, that’s just really not acceptable to me,” she said. “We need leadership, I believe, from all areas of the state, from rural or smaller towns and cities as well as the urban areas.
“... The way it worked out, the people who were chosen, we have a good mix,” she said.
As majority whip, Crawford will be responsible for forecasting a bill’s chances of passage.
For the complete article, see today's print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.