Republican lawmakers in the state Assembly will caucus today, to decide their new leadership. Current Majority Leader Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) is the presumed choice to take over the role of Assembly Speaker, but it's not automatic. Representative Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) wants the gig, too. UW-Madison Political Science professor John Coleman says Huebsch has a lot of support from the conservative members of his party, whereas Kaufert would try to appeal to the more moderate Republicans.
Coleman says Huebsch has learned over the past few years about where the GOP hasn't been so successful, and he could use that information to the benefit of the party when deciding which issues to bring forward. Coleman says the GOP needs to consider the immediate public relations impact, as well as the longterm prognosis.
The Assembly Speaker position was previously held by John Gard, who left the position for his unsuccessful run for Congress. The Assembly GOP lost some seats in the election, but still holds a 52-47 lead. A formal vote on the position would take place when the full Assembly convenes in January.