ST. PAUL – State Rep. Barb Haley will hold a top post for the Minnesota House Republicans heading into the 2021 legislative session.

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, Haley of Red Wing was elected the Minnesota House Republican whip by her Republican colleagues. As whip, Haley joins the caucus leadership team led by Minority Leader Kurt Daudt and Deputy Leader Anne Neu.

"It's an honor to have been elected to serve as House Republican whip," Haley said in a news release. "Our team is ready to step up to provide strong conservative leadership to Minnesota as we navigate what will be a challenging session."

The U.S. Senate website defines party whips:

“Traditionally serving as assistant leaders, whips are mainly responsible for counting heads and rounding up party members for votes and quorum calls, and they occasionally stand in for the majority or minority leaders in their absence.”

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Haley said she will bring a focus on communications and collaborating with all caucus members to the whip role.

"We have incredible talent and knowledge in our House Republican team members and I want to deeply leverage that experience as we craft fiscally responsible, common-sense solutions for Minnesota," she said.

Haley represents House District 21A, which covers portions of Goodhue and Wabasha counties. She is completing her second two-year term in the Minnesota House and was re-elected on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Before serving in the Minnesota House, Haley had more than 20 years of business experience, including as director of sales force effectiveness with AT&T. Additionally, she has served in numerous nonprofit management positions in Red Wing.

Lawmakers are already in committee meetings, but the 2021 session will officially open on Jan. 5. This will be the "long" session -- the short session is held in even-numbered years -- and is scheduled to run through May 17. The two-year budget is a priority.

The House's opening agenda for the Legislature’ 92nd session includes members-elect taking the oath of office and the full body officially electing various officers. On Nov. 5, House DFLers selected current House Speaker Melissa Hortman of Brooklyn Park to continue in that post.