The Alabama House Republican Caucus held its first post-election meeting to elect members to leadership posts for the upcoming term.
Given that Republicans hold a supermajority, the members nominated for speaker and speaker pro tem will be officially elected to their posts when the full chamber meets in January.
House Speaker nominee: Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville)
Ledbetter, who became majority leader in 2017, is set to become the 67th speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives.
The North Alabama lawmaker emerged as the top choice over State Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark), who was first elected to chamber in 1994 and is chairman of the House Ways and Means General Fund Committee.
A former Rainsville mayor and city council member, Ledbetter served on the powerful House Rules and Ways and Means Education Education Committees.
In a statement released after the caucus elections, Ledbetter said he would preside over the body in a fair manner to ensure “all voices have an opportunity to be heard.”
“The members of the House Republican Caucus are a talented group of men and women who support the conservative principles and traditional values that most Alabamians share, and I am honored beyond measure to be chosen as their nominee for Speaker of the House,” said Ledbetter. “If elected Speaker, I will work hard to preside fairly and ensure that all voices have an opportunity to be heard in the committee rooms and chamber of the Alabama House.”
Speaker Pro Tem nominee: Chris Pringle (R-Mobile)
Pringle was nominated for the second-highest position within the body as speaker pro tem, which is tasked with presiding over the House when the speaker is unavailable.
The lawmaker served his first stint in the chamber from 1994 to 2002, when he opted against re-election in favor of a congressional bid. He was elected once more to his seat in 2014.
Most recently, Pringle chaired the House State Government Committee and served as co-chair of the Permanent Legislative Committee On Reapportionment.
House Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle)
Due to the position of House majority leader being an internally-elected position, Stadthagen will assume his new role immediately.
He was first elected to the chamber in 2018, and has held membership on the State Government, Health, and Local Legislation committees.
Stadthagen has been the owner of Hagen Homes Incorporated since 2005 and has served on numerous local boards, including the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce, the Morgan County Builders Association, and the Economic Development Group of Hartselle.
Caucus Vice Chair Wes Kitchens (R-Arab)
As vice chair of House GOP Caucus, a position he was previously elected to earlier this year, Kitchens will assume the responsibilities of the majority leader in his absence.
He was one of only a few members to have ever been elected caucus vice chair as a freshman lawmaker.
In 2021, Kitchens was elected as co-chair of the Joint Legislative Commission on Expanding Access to Quality Pre-kindergarten Early Education Programs. This commission was created to promote early childhood education opportunities across at the state.
The lawmaker, a former president of the Arab Chamber of Commerce, is an agent at Holloway and Hunt Insurance.
Caucus Secretary/Treasurer Debbie Wood (R-Valley)
Wood was first elected to the House in 2018. She is a former four-term member of the Chambers County Commission, and was the first woman to serve the body as chair.
Additionally, she served as president of the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama.
Wood is the broker and chief operating officer for Century 21 Wood Real Estate in the Chambers County town of Valley.
Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL