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Thursday, July 12, 2007


House Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden, the No. 2 ranking House member, resigned July 12 to take an unspecified lobbying job. The Associated Press reported that Bearden, R-St. Charles, would announce details about his new job on July 13.

Bearden’s departure leaves a further void in top House leadership. House Majority Leader Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles and the No. 3 ranking House member, is running in a Sept. 4 special election for the Senate in a heavily Republican district. On the Democratic side, House Minority Leader Jeff Harris, D-Columbia, will step down from his leadership post in September to pursue a 2008 bid for Missouri attorney general. Harris will retain his House seat through 2008.

Bearden was first elected to the House in 2000. Term limits prevent him from seeking re-election next year. Gov. Matt Blunt will have to call a special election to fill Bearden’s seat.

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