The Pennsylvania House elected a seven-term Republican member Monday to become speaker, elevating him to the chamber's top job a week after his predecessor resigned.
The vote for Rep. Bryan Cutler of Lancaster County was technically unanimous, and was a step up from the position of majority leader he has held for nearly two years.
Cutler was formally nominated by Rep. David Hickernell, R-Lancaster, who praised him for seeking common ground.
“I believe he will be one of those great speakers who will be remembered and who future speakers will try to emulate,” Hickernell said.
It was unusual for the House to reshuffle leadership with six months left in the two-year legislative session, but the change was made necessary by Allegheny County Republican Rep. Mike Turzai’s departure.
Cutler, 45, has moved steadily up the ranks since being elected to the Legislature nearly 14 years ago. He served as Republican whip before becoming floor leader.
A former X-ray technician and hospital worker, Cutler is also a lawyer. Married and the father of three, he lives on a farm in a rural district in southern Lancaster County.
Turzai announced last week he had been hired as general counsel for the Pittsburgh-based natural gas division of a utility company.