As you already know, Speaker Glenn Richardson, Majority Leader Jerry Keen and Speaker Pro-Tem Mark Burkhalter met with Gov. Sonny Perdue last night to figure out what to do about this current dilemma.
While I’m not writing any of this as fact, enough people have given me information to piece together an idea of what seems to be going on. Here is what I have gathered so far:
- Richardson resigns not just from his position as Speaker, but he resigns his seat from the legislature. Many wondered what the next step would be, whether he would stick around.
- Burkhalter would be sworn in as the next Speaker, but resign from the legislature when appointed Executive Director of the World Congress Center by the Governor.
- Keen would then run for Speaker.
If this turns out to be true, then the fix is in and the status quo remains in the House Republican caucus. I can’t imagine what the reaction will be among the rank-and-file. You have to wonder how much contact leadership has had with them in the last 48 to 72 hours about this peculiar situation.
It seems the sense is If there is a negative reaction from what may be perceived as a preordained conclusion inside the caucus, you have to wonder who will be stepping in as potential candidates for Speaker. Rumors are abound, but remember this, more members of the caucus voted against Keen last year than they did Richardson.
Also, what does this mean for the caucus? The implications of this move well beyond Glenn Richardson, indeed the future of the House Republican caucus seems to hang in the balance, not necessarily from an electoral perspective, but the future of leadership and policy.
[UPDATE] Rep. Barry Loudermilk has confirmed with me that he is considering a run for Speaker and has OK’d use of his name here.