Rep. Linda Myers (R-Essex), a 15-year member of the House, will be a candidate for the powerful speaker of the House position. She does it knowing she’s unlikely to win.
“It will be extremely difficult for me to win the speakership,” Myers said Thursday. “It’s an opportunity for people in the Hous
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e of Representatives to know there is a choice.”
Myers said House Republicans gathered Wednesday morning at the Statehouse, and that Rep. Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe) suggested Myers’ name.
The group unanimously agreed to support her when the full House votes in January on the speaker’s post. House Minority Leader Don Turner (R-Milton) has been saying that he planned to field a speaker candidate regardless of the party’s chances of prevailing.
Democrats are expected to nominate Rep. Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero) as their candidate to replace House Speaker Shap Smith (D-Morristown), who did not seek reelection in November. With Democrats holding 83 of the 150 House seats, their pick is a virtual shoo-in. After legislators convened Wednesday for a pre-legislative session policy briefing, Johnson already had keys to the speaker’s office literally in her hand.
Myers, a retired editor of the Essex Reporter, said she knows that running for speaker poses a risk for her. She has been serving as vice chair of the House Corrections and Institutions Committee, alongside chair Alice Emmons (D-Springfield). Her appointment is in the speaker’s hands.
“I’m hoping that if I’m defeated that Mitzi and my chair, Alice Emmons, will realize the work I’ve done,” Myers said. “I’m hoping that I’ll be able to continue.”