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Adams resigns from Legislature to run for Congress, Tobin steps up to House speaker

Outgoing House Speaker Kirk Adams embraces Rep. Andy Tobin, who was elected to replace him. (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

Outgoing House Speaker Kirk Adams embraces Rep. Andy Tobin, who was elected to replace him. (Photo by Ryan Cook/RJ Cook Photography)

This morning, the House Republicans chose their new leadership as former speaker Kirk Adams, R-Mesa, resigned in order to launch his bid for Congress.

As expected, former majority leader Andy Tobin, R-Paulden, who ran unopposed, was elected as the new speaker.

In the majority leader race, Rep. Steve Court, R-Mesa, was majority leader, beating out Reps. Bob Robson, David Gowan and Russ Jones for the spot.

“It’s very humbling,” Court said. “I’m honored to be chosen.”

Both on the floor and off, other caucus members praised Tobin and Court.

“Mr. Tobin has a lot of good experience. He was whip, then he was majority leader, so he’s moved up in the ranks and he’s served in a national organization, he’s served his districts, he’s helped raise money for a lot of candidates, and brought in new people into the caucus,” said Rep. Cecil Ash, R-Mesa. “He’s done a great job, and we’re very happy to have him.”

As Tobin took the speaker’s chair, he spent some time thanking the caucus members and leadership for their support and spent some time recapping some of the party’s accomplishments from the past session: the jobs bill, the pension reform bill, and the budget.

The congratulations were somewhat tempered as members also wished Adams farewell and wished him luck in the future, although at the time of the floor session, he had not officially announced his bid for Congress.

“I hope that you continue on in politics, because the things you’ve done in Arizona are needed at the federal level,” said Rep. Karen Fann, R-Prescott.

After the session was over, Tobin briefly discussed his plans for the summer and next session with the press. Though he said there weren’t going to be many drastic changes in leadership style or procedure, he said he intended to take the summer to meet with the public and other members, particularly the freshmen Republicans.

“This is going to be a very prepared session,” Tobin said. “We had a historic session, with a lot thrown at a lot of very new people in a very short period of time. So we’re going to take some time to start going through the process of what we have accomplished, what we’ve missed, mistakes we’ve made, and what we can do better going forward.”

Jones said that losing his bid for majority leader wasn’t a letdown because of the team that ultimately was chosen. By keeping Tobin in leadership and electing the vice-chairman of the Appropriations committee as majority leader, Jones said the House would be well-poised for budget discussions next year.

“I was concerned that we would have too much of a change over, which I think would put the House at a disadvantage in working with the Senate and with the governor, particularly on budget issues,” he said.

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