Rep. Steve Clouse has entered the race for House Speaker.
Clouse, the chairman of the House General Fund budget committee and one of the state’s most respected lawmakers, had initially announced his support for Rep. Bill Poole. But Poole, citing the demands the job would impose on his time with his family, decided to withdraw from consideration on Thursday.
Clouse, R-Ozark, is a full-time legislator and has served in the legislature since the mid-1990s. He had initially expressed interest in the speaker’s position but backed away when Poole announced his intentions.
Also seeking the position is Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, the current House Majority Leader.
Current Speaker Mac McCutcheon announced a week ago that he would not seek re-election once his term expires in 2022. The House won’t make a decision on the speaker’s position until after the 2022 midterms. McCutcheon will remain speaker until that time.