Sources predict Lafayette Independent Joel Robideaux will be the next speaker pro tem in the state House, replacing Sen.-elect Karen Carter Peterson of New Orleans. In his second term, Robideaux has developed a reputation for being a pragmatic consensus builder and has been astute at locking up support among fellow lawmakers for the pro tem position, which will be the first vote by House members when the Legislature convenes March 29. Robideaux is among three House lawmakers jockeying for the speaker pro tem post; the others are Democrats Rick Gallot of Ruston and Noble Ellington of Winnsboro.

In his Political Fax Weekly, columnist John Maginnis also reports that Robideaux is close to locking up the post, noting that Republicans are lining up behind the conservative-leaning Cajun rep and that neither of Robideaux's opponents have been able to crack his solid support among Acadiana Democrats.

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