New House Speaker Diehl presents strong counter to Nixon

As John Diehl begins his new job as Missouri’s House speaker, the state’s Republicans enjoy an historic majority in the House. Diehl, a Republican from Town and Country, has risen through leadership positions in Jefferson City over the last five years, earning a reputation as a shrewd dealmaker adept at the behind-the-scenes maneuvering that’s key to the legislative process.

As he takes over a position that’s been called the second most powerful in state government, he will influence everything from the state budget to education reform to tax policy. With a veto-proof majority that can easily override gubernatorial vetoes, he’s also likely to play counterpoint to Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

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