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SD House Republicans choose Qualm, Mickelson as leaders

PIERRE (AP) — Republicans have chosen South Dakota state Rep. Lee Qualm as House majority leader and have nominated Rep. Mark Mickelson to serve as House speaker.

The House GOP majority voted also Saturday to install Rep. Kent Peterson as assistant majority leader. Qualm, of Platte, replaces former House Republican leader Brian Gosch, who couldn't run for re-election because of term limits.

Mickelson, of Sioux Falls, succeeds retiring House Speaker Dean Wink. The caucus nominated Rep. Don Haggar of Sioux Falls for speaker pro tempore.

Minority House and Senate Democrats stuck with their leaders. Rep. Spencer Hawley of Brookings will be House minority leader and Sen. Billie Sutton of Burke will serve as Senate minority leader.

Previously, Senate Republicans chose Sen. Blake Curd of Sioux Falls to be the head of their caucus.