Marli Wiese, a state House member from Madison, will have a new role to play when the South Dakota Legislature meets for its 2021 session.

During the caucus held on Saturday by the Republican S.D. House members, Wiese, a District 8 legislator who will start her third House term in January, was selected to serve as a majority whip during the upcoming session.

Wiese was chosen to serve among a group of five Republican House whips. The other whips in the group are Kirk Chaffee of Whitewood, Tim Goodwin of Rapid City, Kevin Jensen of Canton and Rebecca Reimer of Chamberlain.

"It's really an honor to be chosen by your peers to serve in a leadership position," Wiese said.

According to Wiese, the 62 members of the House Republican caucus met in Pierre last weekend to select party leadership. Also during the meeting, the Republicans nominated Spencer Gosch of Glenham to serve as state House Speaker and Jon Hansen of Dell Rapids to serve as Speaker Pro Tempore. In addition, Kent Peterson of Salem was elected House majority leader and Chris Johnson of Rapid City was elected assistant majority leader.

Wiese also expects to serve on two House committees during the 2021 session. She said party whips typically have a seat on the House State Affairs Committee. Wiese said that legislators will need to wait for party leadership to make decisions on which lawmakers will serve on which committees.

Traditionally, the party whips work within a legislative body to ensure that legislators follow party policy with their votes on legislation. Wiese said her experience in the S.D. House includes that the party whips also deliver information from individual lawmakers to the party leadership, providing different opinions on particular bills.

As an example, late in the 2020 session, legislators wanted to provide ideas about how to spend any unallocated funds in the new budget, suggesting added spending on education, nursing home support and infrastructure improvements.

Crabtree chosen as a Senate whip

Casey Crabtree of Madison was selected to serve as one of four majority whips in the South Dakota Senate when Senate Republican members met in caucus on Nov. 6.

Crabtree was appointed to the South Dakota Senate in June and was elected to his first full term in the body earlier this month.

Crabtree will serve as a Senate whip with Jim Bolin of Canton, Helene Duhamel of Rapid City and Kyle Schoenfish of Scotland. Gary Cammack of Union Center was elected Senate majority leader and Mike Diedrich of Rapid City was elected assistant majority leader.

Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown was nominated by the Republican caucus to serve as President Pro Tempore in the state Senate.

The full South Dakota Senate is scheduled to vote on candidates for the President Pro Tempore post when the body organizes on Jan. 12, the opening day of the session.