HARRISBURG ‚?? The 111 members of the incoming Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus today once again elected Rep. Sam Smith, of Punxsutawney, as their choice for speaker of the House and Rep. Mike Turzai, of Bradford Woods, as majority leader for the 2013-14 legislative session.
Today‚??s caucus election comes seven days after Republicans increased their majority from 109 members going into Election Day, to 111 members and retaining control of the state House for the second session in a row.
Smith‚??s and Turzai‚??s elections were part of today‚??s reorganization session of the Republican Caucus. The formal election for speaker will take place in the full House when the 2013-14 session begins on Jan. 1, 2013. Republicans hold a 111-92 majority in the state House.
‚??We governed responsibly for the last two years and plan to keep moving in that direction,‚?Ě Smith said. ‚??We will continue to focus on the economy, private sector job-creation and restoring citizens‚?? confidence in state government.‚?Ě
‚??We ran on our legislative record of accomplishment, which focused on fiscal responsibility, private sector job growth and integrity in government,‚?Ě Turzai said. ‚??While bringing about fiscal discipline and holding the line on taxes, we funded public education with more state dollars than ever before.‚?Ě
The Republican leadership team includes:
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE DESIGNEE: Rep. Sam Smith (66th District, Armstrong, Indiana and Jefferson counties). Smith was speaker of the House in the current session, and previously served as leader since 2003. In 2000, Smith was elected whip until April 2003, when he was elected majority leader after the death of Speaker Matthew J. Ryan. Smith was first elected to the House in 1986, succeeding his father, former Rep. Eugene ‚??Snuffy‚?Ě Smith.
MAJORITY LEADER: Rep. Mike Turzai (28th District, Allegheny County). Re-elected as majority leader, Turzai was first elected to the House in 2001. He previously served as whip during the 2009-2010 legislative session. In 2006, he was elected Republican Policy Committee chairman.
WHIP: Rep. Stan Saylor (94th District, York County). Saylor was first elected to the House in 1992. In the 2009-2010 session, Saylor served as the Republican Policy Committee chairman.
APPROPRIATIONS CHAIRMAN: Rep. William Adolph (165th District, Delaware County). Adolph was first elected to the House in 1988. Today, he was elected to his second full term as Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
CAUCUS CHAIRMAN: Rep. Sandra Major (111th District, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties). Major was first elected to the House in 1994. She was re-elected to her fourth term as caucus chairman.
POLICY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Rep. Dave Reed (62nd District, Indiana County). Reed was first elected to the House in 2002. He was re-elected to his second term as the Policy Committee Chairman today. He also serves as chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee.
CAUCUS ADMINISTRATOR: Rep. Dick Stevenson (8th District, Mercer and Butler counties). Stevenson was first elected to the House in 2000. Today he was elected to his second term in House leadership.
CAUCUS SECRETARY: Rep. Mike Vereb (150th District, Montgomery County). Vereb was first elected in 2006. This will be his second term as secretary.
Adolph said, ‚??Pennsylvanians can be assured we will continue budgeting responsibly as we keep an eye on state revenues and expenditures. The House Appropriations Committee will keep its focus on effectiveness of state programs and whether they match their intent.‚?Ě
‚??House Republicans are the fiscal stewards of the hard-earned dollars of Pennsylvania families and employers,‚?Ě Turzai said.
The elections took place today in the House Republican Caucus Room in the Main Capitol Building. The 10 newly elected Republican members who will begin their terms in January participated in the balloting. Members who are leaving office did not participate in the election.