- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republicans in the Missouri House have unanimously chosen Rep. Todd Richardson as the new majority leader and affirmed their support for Rep. John Diehl as the next House speaker.

Wednesday’s decisions came the day after Republicans won the greatest number of seats they’ve ever had in Missouri’s House.

Diehl’s role as speaker must be approved by the full chamber in January, but Republicans easily can vote the Town and Country lawmaker in without support from Democrats.

Richardson, of Poplar Bluff, needed only Republican approval to become majority leader.

Diehl says the party’s plans for 2015 include an economic development proposal to help small businesses. Additional support for the state’s agricultural industry and a measure to incorporate more workforce preparedness into education also could come up.

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