Sen. Mike Cunningham, R-Rogersville, announced Friday he will run to serve as Senate President Pro Tempore for the 100th General Assembly.

Ron Richard of Joplin, who holds the job, is serving his final year in the Senate.

After 16 years in the Missouri Legislature and 14 of those years as an elected official, Cunningham said he has the right combination of experience and maturity to serve in that role.

“After much thought and careful consideration, I have decided to enter the Pro Tem race,” Cunningham said. “During my time in the Legislature, I have developed strong relationships with my colleagues, and I’ve always tried to conduct myself honestly and fairly in every interaction I’ve had in this building.

“As President Pro Tem, I will work diligently with the next Majority Floor Leader, our leadership team and our caucus to accomplish our legislative agenda, while focusing on attracting more businesses to Missouri through workforce development and promoting our state’s natural resources.”

Cunningham said one of his top priorities will be to protect the Republican majority that members have worked hard to achieve. He said if elected, he will always have an open door policy to listen to other member’s concerns and encourage more participation in leadership meetings.

The President Pro Tempore is chosen by the members of the Senate and is responsible for appointing committee members, assigning legislation to committees and ruling on points of order raised during debate in the Senate chamber, among other powers.

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