State Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) was sworn in Tuesday as Alabama’s Speaker of the House. He was elected by a unanimous 102-0 vote.
The former majority leader was re-elected to his third term in the Legislature last year. He then won the Alabama GOP nomination to be the new House leader shortly after the election.
“I stand before you today a man that is humbled by the faith you have put in me and the great responsibility you have placed upon my shoulders. I pledge to you, here and now, to work as hard as I am able to justify both,” Ledbetter said on the House floor. “It’s likely one of the greatest honors that will ever be afforded me in the time God grants me on earth.”
Ledbetter succeeds former Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia), who did not seek another term in office.
“From time to time, we will have different ideals and suggestions, different paths to achieve a mission,” Ledbetter said. “But it’s a mission all of us share. I understand that the Speaker’s gavel is not a weapon; it’s a tool to be used to encourage honest debate, find common ground, and represent the constituents that each of us seeks to serve.”
The lawmaker spoke with Yellowhammer News last November about what his main priorities will be in the next session.
“We’ll be looking at a lot of different issues … We’ve got to continue to try and improve our education system. I think that’s a priority, and we’ll do that,” he said. “We’ve been working on it already in strides, I think, and work with the education folks to try to move it forward. We’ve got to make it easier to adopt in Alabama. I think we’ll have some legislation coming up that’s going to make that possible. We’ve got to address the fentanyl issue immediately. Those are three primary issues that we’ll face.”
The House also elected Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) as speaker pro tem; replaces Rep. Victor Gaston (R-Mobile) who did not seek another term to office.
In the Senate, President Pro Tempore Greg Reed (R-Jasper) was re-elected to his leadership role by a unanimous vote.