Todd Richardson sworn in as Speaker of the House
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House elected Majority Leader Todd Richardson Friday to take over the chamber's top spot following the resignation of House Speaker John Diehl.
Republicans and Democrats unanimously elected Richardson. He was previously Majority Floor Leader. Richardson is a third-term legislator from Poplar Bluff, elected in 2010.
He was sworn into the office shortly after Diehl resigned Friday, following through on an announcement Diehl made a day earlier. Diehl acknowledged exchanging sexually suggestive text messages with a college freshman serving as a Capitol intern.
Diehl apologized again to members Friday morning and received a standing ovation from some members. Others did not stand.
Those who spoke in his favor called Richardson a man of integrity. Richardson said he hopes the House can get right back to work passing bills.
Richardson said, "I think it's important that Missourians know we intend to finish the job we started in January by passing good, common sense legislation that will move our state forward."
Lawmakers were facing a 6 p.m. deadline Friday to pass legislation for the year.