Jones had served as the chamber's majority leader for the past two years. His selection Wednesday fills the vacancy created when former Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) resigned from the House in August to work as a paid consultant. House members will decide in January whether to keep Jones for two more years as Speaker, assuming that he is re-elected in November and the GOP holds onto the Missouri House as expected. Jones said Wednesday he wants to encourage job creation by streamlining government, offering tax relief and paring back government regulations. He also wants to focus on energy independence and education policy.
Speaker Pro-tem Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) had filled in as Speaker since Tilley's departure. He's also running for Secretary of State against Democrat and fellow House Member Jason Kander (D, Kansas City). Jones' ascension to the Speaker's office means that there's a vacancy in the Majority Floor Leader's office. For now, Assistant Majority Floor Leader Jeannie Riddle (R, Mokane) is filling in. After the November elections, it's expected that State Representative John Diehl (R, Town and Country) will be selected as the next Majority Floor Leader.