Talking about running against your party leader isn’t usually a winning strategy and thus was the case with state House Speaker Pro Tem Judd Matheny. His colleagues voted him out of his current post in a meeting this week.
Matheny accused House Speaker Beth Harwell of not being conservative enough and said he might challenge her for the job this next session. He later walked it back and decided to run for re-election to his current post in the No. 2 spot in the House.
Harwell did not have an opponent to repeat as Speaker. Matheny was defeated by state Rep. Curtis Johnson for the Pro Tem position.
Many of the Republican caucus members were angered by Matheny’s remarks during the recent election when Harwell was heading up fund-raising to increase the Republican majority in the House.