Wyoming Republicans pick legislative leadership
CASPER (WNE) – Rep. Eric Barlow, R-Gillette, and Sen Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, will lead the Wyoming Legislature for the next two years after a remote vote of the Republican caucus Saturday morning.
Barlow, who now serves as house majority floor leader, is on track to replace Rep. Steve Harshman, R-Casper, as speaker at the conclusion of the Casper lawmaker’s unusual second term this year.
The final tally in Barlow’s favor, 32-18, came against Sheridan Republican Rep. Mark Jennings, a state GOP activist who has never held a leadership position or a committee chairmanship.
Jennings said his impromptu run was an effort to give lawmakers who support all the tenets of the Republican Party platform a greater voice in the Legislature.
Several other members of the Legislature — Rep. Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale, and Rep. Mike Greear, R-Worland, staved off challenges of their own from more conservative opponents and appear headed to become majority floor leader and speaker pro tempore, respectively.
Cheyenne Republican Rep. Jared Olsen was ultimately elected as whip for the House Republicans.
In the Senate, Dockstader will likely serve alongside new Senate Majority Floor Leader Ogden Driskill, R-Devil’s Tower, and Baggs Sen. Larry Hicks, who is on track to replace Driskill as vice president of the Senate.
The appointments are not final, however. The leadership still needs to be approved by the full Legislature, including Democrats, Libertarians and Independents, to become final.