Rep. Barlow Elected Speaker of the House, Committee Assignments Finalized

Eric Barlow, one of the final speakers during the public hearing, addresses the NWCCD Board of Trustees on July 1st.
Eric Barlow, one of the final speakers during the public hearing, addresses the NWCCD Board of Trustees on July 1st.

Representative Eric Barlow will be the new Speaker of the House as legislators nail down committee assignments and elect leadership to fill top positions as they prepare to convene for the 66th Wyoming Legislature in January.

Rep. Albert Sommers (Pinedale) will step up as Majority Floor Leader in the House, taking over the position previously held by Barlow, with Rep. Mike Greear (Worland) as Speaker Pro Tempore and Rep. Jared Olsen (Cheyenne) serving as the Majority Whip.

Barlow takes over from Rep. Steve Harshman of Casper who served as Speaker of the House for two terms, from 2017 to 2020. Harshman is a Natrona County teacher and coach who often had trouble bringing together the House’s more traditional Republican representatives with the growing far right.

Democratic Rep. Cathy Connolly (Laramie) was elected Minority Floor Leader Rep with Andi Clifford (Riverton) as Minority Whip and Rep. Mike Yin (Jackson) elected as Minority Caucus Chairman.

In the Senate, Sen. Dan Dockstader (Afton) will be serving as President while Sen. Ogden Driskill (Devils Tower) was elected Majority Floor Leader. Driskill’s district includes parts of northern Campbell County. Also, Sen. Larry Hicks (Baggs) will serve as Vice President alongside Sen. Chris Rothfuss (Laramie) as Minority Floor Leader and Sen. Mike Gierau (Jackson) as Minority Whip.

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Returning House District Rep. Tim Hallinan of Gillette will be serving on the Revenue Committee and Labor, Health and Social Services.

Sen. Jeff Wasserburger and Rep. Bill Fortner will serve on the Agriculture, State and Public Lands and Water Resources Committee. Freshman House Representative John Bear will also serve with Wasserburger on the committee for Minerals, Business and Economic Development.

In the Senate, incoming Senator Troy McKeown will sit on the Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs and Labor, Health and Social Services committees.

The 2020-21 legislative session will convene on Jan. 12.

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