Haugaard set as next House speaker pro tem

House Republicans met in a closed-door caucus Tuesday morning and nominated Rep. Steve Haugaard of Sioux Falls for the vacant post of speaker pro tempore, according to Jason Hancock, executive director for the non-partisan Legislative Research Council.

The full House of Representatives will vote on the nomination when it convenes for its regular 2018 session at noon Tuesday, January 9, Hancock said.

Haugaard would be starting his fourth year in the House when the 2018 session opens.

Haugaard would preside over the House when the speaker, Rep. Mark Mickelson, R-Sioux Falls, isn’t available. Typically the speaker pro tem is selected as the new speaker after legislative elections for the next term.

The post previously was held by former Rep. Don Haggar, R-Sioux Falls, who resigned earlier this year.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, selected Doug Barthel, R-Sioux Falls, as the replacement for Haggar in the 70-member House. The appointment came Sept. 6.

Rep. Barthel took his legislative oath Tuesday prior to the governor’s budget speech to a House chamber jammed with representatives at their desks and senators on chairs filling the aisles.

Haugaard reportedly competed against Rep. Larry Rhoden, R-Union Center, and Rep. Mike Stevens, R-Yankton, for the speaker pro tem spot.

House Republicans normally don’t discuss caucus elections.

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