By Chip Brownlee
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY — The House Republican Caucus has elected State Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville), a first-term legislator, as the new House Majority Leader.
Ledbetter, a former mayor and city council member in Rainsville, was first elected the House in 2014. According to the caucus, he is the first freshman House member elected as Majority Leader in modern time.
“I am deeply grateful for the trust and confidence that my Republican colleagues have placed in me, and I look forward to serving as their leader for the next few years,” Ledbetter said. “My goal as House Majority Leader will be to ensure that the bills, measures and resolutions passed by the body reflect the conservative beliefs and values of our Republican members.”
Ledbetter is currently a member of the powerful House Rules Committee, the committee responsible for setting daily agendas in the House. He also serves on the Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure Committee.
In addition to electing Ledbetter, House members elected Rep. Connie Rowe (R-Jasper) as their new Caucus Vice Chair on Wednesday. Rowe is the first woman to hold a leadership position in the House Republican Caucus.
“As the Caucus Vice Chair, I’ll work hard every day to support our Majority Leader, and promote the conservative agenda that House Republicans share,” Rowe said. “I appreciate the opportunity my colleagues have provided me to step up and serve.”
Rowe, who was also elected in 2014 to the House, also serves on the Rules Committee, the Children and Senior Advocacy Committee and the Public Safety and Homeland Security Committees.
Rowe was a police chief in Jasper and worked as an investigator for the Walker County District Attorney’s Office for more than 20 years.
Ledbetter and Rowe’s ascension into the Republican House leadership comes at a time of leadership shakeups in the House. Last week, Rep. Micky Hammon (R-Decatur) stepped down as House Majority Leader.
Hammon’s decision to step down comes just a week after the House Republican Caucus held a vote of confidence to determine whether he would continue as the leader of the Republican Caucus. Hammon survived the vote of confidence by just one vote.
Hammon was elected to the House in 2002 and as House Majority Leader in 2010 when the Republicans took control of both chambers of the Alabama Legislature. Hammon was known as a staunch supporter of former House Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn.
Earlier this year, Rep. Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) resigned as House Majority Leader. Rep. Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) replaced him last month. Rep. Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham) was appointed as the House Democratic Caucus Assistant Minority Leader and Rep. Elaine Beech (D-Chatom) was elected as House Democratic Caucus Chair.