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Speaker Seems Safe

Published September 19, 2012 7:42 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

House Speaker Becky Lockhart will avoid a major showdown for her house leadership spot, as House Majority Leader Brad Dee said Wednesday he will not make a bid for the speaker's seat.

Dee, R-Ogden, said he decided against challenging Lockhart for the spot because he did not want to create a major rift in the Republican caucus like the one that existed after Lockhart beat House Speaker David Clark by one vote after the 2010 election.

It's possible someone else could make a bid to knock off the speaker, but Dee was seen as Lockhart's toughest challenge. House Majority Whip Greg Hughes, R-Draper, said he will seek re-election to the position of House Majority Whip, as well.

"I've always known I was going to have to work for it," said Lockhart, R-Provo. "So I've been out helping my colleagues get elected."

Lockhart said she anticipates there will be some contested races for the leadership spots.

"It remains to be seen on majority leader, as well as speaker, but no one has been out there [campaigning]," she said.

Assistant Majority Whip Rhonda Menlove, R-Garland, has said she will not seek re-election to her leadership post.

Hughes may be challenged by Rep. Curt Webb, R-Logan, and Reps. Don Ipson, R-St. George, and Jim Bird, R-West Jordan, are said to be considering bids for the House Assistant Majority Whip position.

— Robert Gehrke Twitter: @RobertGehrke