AP) – Missouri state Rep. Caleb Rowden announced Wednesday that he’d run for majority leader against the current second-in-command Rep. Mike Cierpiot, previewing what could be a competitive race after the former speaker’s resignation last week led to a shuffle in Republican leadership.
Rep. Todd Richardson of Poplar Bluff left the position open upon his election as House speaker, replacing John Diehl of Town and Country, who resigned Friday from the House’s top office after admitting to exchanging sexually suggestive text messages with a Capitol intern.
Rowden was the first to publicly announce a bid to replace Richardson. Cierpiot told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he’s running as well.
House Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins said he has no plans to run for majority leader, a position that determines if, when and how long House members debate bills. It’s considered a stepping stone to speaker.