House Republicans choose 2017-18 leadership team
HARRISBURG – The 122 members of the incoming Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus today once again elected Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) as their choice for speaker of the House of Representatives and Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana County) as majority leader for the 2017-18 legislative session.
Today’s caucus election comes seven days after Republicans increased their majority from 119 members going into Election Day to 122 members, retaining control of the state House for the fourth consecutive session.
Turzai and Reed were elected as part of today’s reorganization session of the Republican Caucus. The formal election for speaker will take place in the full House when the 2017-18 session begins on Jan. 3, 2017. Republicans will hold a 122-81 majority in the state House.
“To be chosen by my colleagues to continue to serve as speaker of this esteemed institution is an exceptionally high honor,” Turzai said. “I am proud of our members and the outstanding accomplishments we have achieved together over the past two years. I look forward to working with all members to move Pennsylvania forward in the next session. Focusing on fiscal discipline and private sector job growth will be paramount.”
“We stood for taxpayers and governed responsibly for the last two years, and with a 122-member majority, the House Republicans are ready to confront the many challenges still facing our Commonwealth,” Reed said. “The people can expect us to again offer bold and rational solutions to address the issues and problems Pennsylvanians are facing. Better job and career opportunities, property tax relief, better budgeting and making sure all our schools actually educate will top our priority list in the next session.”
The Republican leadership team includes:
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE DESIGNEE: Rep. Mike Turzai (28th District, Allegheny County) is ending his first term as speaker. He was elected majority leader for two sessions, serving in that capacity from 2011-14. Turzai was first elected to the House in 2001 and previously served as whip during the 2009-10 legislative session and Republican Policy Committee chairman during the 2007-08 session.
MAJORITY LEADER: Rep. Dave Reed (62nd District, Indiana County) was first elected to the House in 2002. He is currently serving his first term as majority leader and was the Republican Policy Committee chairman from 2011-2014. Reed has also served as chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee from 2009-14.
WHIP: Rep. Bryan Cutler (100th District, Lancaster County) was elected to the House in 2006. Unopposed, Cutler was re-elected to his second term as majority whip.
APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRMAN: Rep. Stan Saylor (94th District, York County) was first elected to the House in 1992. In the 2011-12 session, Saylor served as majority whip, and in the 2009-10 session, he was the Republican Policy Committee chairman. Currently, Saylor is chairman of the House Education Committee.
CAUCUS CHAIRMAN: Rep. Marcy Toepel (147th District, Montgomery County) was first elected to the House in 2010. Prior to being elected, Toepel served in various positions in the Montgomery County government. This is her first term as a member of the caucus leadership team.
POLICY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (171st District, Centre and Mifflin counties) was elected to the House in 1996. Unopposed today, he was elected to his second term as Republican Policy Committee chairman. Previously, Benninghoff served as the chairman of the House Finance Committee, chairman of the Cancer Caucus, and chairman of the Rural Health Caucus.
CAUCUS ADMINISTRATOR: Rep. Kurt Masser (107th District, Columbia, Montour and Northumberland counties) was first elected in 2010. This is his first term as a member of the caucus leadership team.
CAUCUS SECRETARY: Rep. Donna Oberlander (63rd District, Armstrong, Clarion and Forest counties) was elected to the House of Representatives in 2008. This is Oberlander’s second term as caucus secretary; she was unopposed. Previously, she chaired the House Oil and Gas Caucus and the House Diabetes Caucus.
Appropriations Chairman Saylor said, “Our Appropriations Committee will focus its efforts on effectiveness of state programs, whether they match their intent and whether they have run their course. Pennsylvanians can be assured, we will not be a status quo committee and are committed to enacting a responsible budget which respects our taxpayers.”
The elections took place today in the House Republican Caucus Room in the Main Capitol Building. Only members who will serve in 2017-18 Legislative Session were eligible to participate in today’s balloting. Members who are leaving office did not participate in the election.