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In the House, a call for a GOP caucus

As House members, staffers, lobbyists and others digest the news of Speaker Ray Sansom's decision to step aside, there are early rumblings among members about a need for a formal gathering of the House Republican caucus. Such a meeting could only be called by the leadership, and it could open the door for another candidate to challenge Sansom's pro-tem, Rep. Larry Cretul of Ocala, for the top position.

The GOP majority caucus is formally known as the House Republican Conference.

"I would think a conference should be called so that everybody has the ability to either voice their support or their concern for the issues that have transpired," said Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Oviedo. "It would make a lot of the members feel a little bit more comfortable if they had the ability to conference. Don't get me wrong. Larry Cretul is a good man. I trust him. But I still believe there's a need for a conference."

"This has all just come out," Adams said. "People are looking at the (House) rules and saying, 'Where does this put us?'^" The House updated its website home page photo gallery on Friday afternoon to highlight an archive photo of Cretul standing at the podium.

Sansom appears to have used House Rule 2.5, "Appointment of a Temporary Presiding Officer," in naming Cretul acting speaker "in the event of the Speaker's death, illness, removal or inability to act, until the Speaker's successor is elected."

-- Steve Bousquet