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Rep. Mike Moyle elected new speaker of the Idaho House

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Rep. Mike Moyle elected new speaker of the Idaho House

Dec 01, 2022 | 11:03 am ET
By Clark Corbin
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Rep. Mike Moyle elected new speaker of the Idaho House
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In this file photo, House Majority Leader Mike Moyle, R-Star, speaks on the phone on the House floor at the Idaho Capitol on April 6, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, was elected speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives in a private vote held by House Republicans on Wednesday night. 

Moyle, R-Star, will take over the top spot in House leadership that had been held by Lt. Gov.-elect Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, for the past 10 years. 

Moyle is the longest-serving member of the Idaho House, having served 12 terms that spanned 24 years. Moyle has most recently served as House majority leader.

The full Idaho House of Representatives unanimously voted to confirm Moyle as the next speaker today during the organizational session of the Idaho Legislature. Moyle isn’t the only one to take on a new leadership role during the 2023 session. Thanks to a sort of domino effect kicked off by Bedke vacating the speaker’s post to run for lieutenant governor, House Republicans elected an entire new leadership team Wednesday night.

Idaho Legislature Mike Moyle elected speaker
Rep. Mike Moyle, R-Star, takes the gavel for the first time after being sworn in as the new speaker of the Idaho House on Dec. 1, 2022. (Clark Corbin/Idaho Capital Sun)

According to a press release issued Wednesday night by the House Republican leaders, the new leadership team comprises:

  • House majority leader: Rep. Megan Blanksma, R-Hammett.
  • House assistant majority leader: Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay. 
  • House majority caucus chairman: Rep. Dustin Manwaring, R-Pocatello. 

Leadership elections take place every two years in December, between the November general election and the new legislative session that begins in January. 

The leadership positions are important because of the influence and responsibilities the positions carry. The speaker is the highest ranking leadership position and presides over the Idaho House of Representatives, while the majority leader is the floor leader, who facilitates calling bills to the floor for a vote.

Other leadership positions determined for Idaho Legislature

Early Thursday morning at the Idaho State Capitol in Boise, the Idaho Senate officially voted to re-elect Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder, R-Boise, to the top leadership position in the Idaho Senate. Sen. Lori Den Hartog, R-Meridian, had unsuccessfully challenged Winder for the top leadership position in the Idaho Senate. There were no other leadership changes in the Idaho Senate, as Senate Majority Leader Kelly Anthon, R-Burley, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Abby Lee, R-Fruitland, and Senate Majority Caucus Chairman Mark Harris, R-Soda Springs, also were all re-elected to their leadership posts Thursday. 

Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Winder (R, Boise)
Senate President Pro Tempore Chuck Winder, R-Boise, considers a floor debate at the Idaho Capitol on April 6, 2021. (Otto Kitsinger for Idaho Capital Sun)

The Senate president pro tem is in the line of succession to be governor, and the Senate president pro tem automatically becomes acting lieutenant governor any time the lieutenant governor succeeds to the office of governor. 

Democrats in the Idaho House and Idaho Senate previously held their leadership elections Tuesday. In Democratic leadership elections, House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, D-Boise, retained her leadership spot while Sen. Melissa Wintrow, also D-Boise, was elected Senate minority leader. 

The Idaho Legislature’s organizational session continues Thursday and, likely, Friday at the Idaho State Capitol in Boise. One of the other highlights of this week’s organizational session will be filling committee chairperson assignments following historic turnover in the Idaho Legislature. All legislators will also be sworn in Thursday. 

The 2023 legislative session begins Jan. 9, with Gov. Brad Little’s State of the State address highlighting the first day in session.