Gene Chandler is back as Speaker of the New Hampshire House.
After two rounds of secret ballots and one caucus meeting Thursday, Chandler won the majority of votes cast by his House colleagues. The Bartlett Republican beat Democrat Steve Shurtleff of Penacook and Libertarian Jim McConnell of North Swanzey.
Chandler is in his 18th term in the NH house.
"The one thing that I can assure all of you, whether they’re partisan, nonpartisan or whatever, I will treat every member of this House with the dignity and the respect that they deserve as a member of this great institution," Chandler said to House members.
Chandler was Speaker from 2001 to 2004, but his stint as leader ended in controversy. He was found to have broken House ethics and campaign finance rules and decided not to run for Speaker again.
But this year, when Speaker Shawn Jasper left mid-way through his term to be state Agriculture Commissioner, Chandler reconsidered.
But Chandler says his tenure as speaker will officially end after this term.