HOUSE SPEAKER DENNIS BONNEN WILL NOT SEEK REELECTION
Following a tumultuous three months filled with rumors swirling, House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced last week that he will not run for his current seat in 2020, making a new Speaker for the 87th Legislation inevitable.
Bonnen, a Republican, has been under fire for a conversation he had on June 12 with conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan. In that conversation, he offered media credentials to Sullivan’s organization if they would support opponents to ten Republican members who had defied the Speaker on a key vote during the session. Bonnen initially denied the allegations but Sullivan revealed he had recorded it and his account was verified by several legislators for whom he played it.
Just two weeks ago, Sullivan finally released the recording to the public. It confirmed his account and also revealed him making disparaging remarks about several members and threatening to make the next legislative session “the worst ever” for cities and counties.
Days later, the House Republican Caucus issued a statement condemning the actions of the Speaker and the state representative who assisted him with the meeting, Rep. Dustin Burrows.
That was followed by the call for him to move on from a list of 43 Republican members, including his own brother Rep. Greg Bonnen.
He then made the announcement that he would fill out his current term but not run for another term in office.
Some legislators are calling on Bonnen to be replaced sooner because they fear damage to Republican legislative candidates in next year’s election. For that to happen, the Governor would have to call a special session of the Legislature with a new Speaker chosen at the start.
If that does not take place, a new Speaker would have to be elected at the beginning of the next Legislative session in January, 2021.