House members will be coming to the floor Thursday to elect a new speaker as Kirk Adams, R-Mesa,will be soon stepping down from his position.
House spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said members were notified about the meeting this afternoon.
“He called some members to inform them personally, and staff called everyone else to make sure they could be there,” he said.
Scarpinato would not offer any information about why Adams was stepping down, but the common speculation is that Adams will be pursuing a bid for Congress.
It’s also no surprise to House Republicans – many of them have been preparing to run for speaker since the final days of the legislative session.
House Majority Leader Andy Tobin, R-Prescott Valley, has confirmed he is considering a run. So is Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, and Rep. Jerry Weiers, R-Glendale. The rumor mill also has Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, and Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Avondale, throwing their hats into the ring.
One Capitol insider, lobbyist Mike Gardner, said that he believes Tobin is considered to be the odds-on favorite at this time.
“He’s done a very good job of taking care of the needs of the members,” Gardner said. “I haven’t heard any complaints about his role.”
But it’s far from a sure bet for Tobin. Members say they expect the competition to be fierce.
“There’s no incumbent speaker, and that makes it almost like a regular election,” Kavanagh said. “It’s going to be competitive.”