Bryan Cutler

State Rep. Bryan Cutler speaks with State Sen. Scott Martin during a Republican Committee of Lancaster County reception on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016.

When state lawmakers return to Harrisburg on Tuesday to elect their leaders for the new two-year session, a southern Lancaster County legislator will be vying for one of the top spots in the House.

State Rep. Bryan Cutler, a Peach Bottom Republican, will be considered by his colleagues in the GOP Caucus for the chamber’s second-highest position — majority leader.

If selected during the private caucus vote, he would become the first Lancaster lawmaker to serve in one of the House’s top two positions since Aaron B. Hess had stints as majority leader and speaker in the 1920s.

Cutler, 43, has represented the 100th Legislative District in southern Lancaster County since 2007 and spent the last four years as majority whip. That leadership role is often a stepping stone to the majority leader position, which would put Cutler in a spot to have a significant influence over the House’s policy agenda and budget negotiations.

It was unclear Monday whether other Republicans in the chamber might challenge Cutler, who is expected to have a good shot at getting the necessary votes.

Retiring House Majority Leader Dave Reed was the first GOP majority leader in nearly four decades who did not serve as whip immediately before. Reed, in an interview last spring, said Cutler would be “the natural fit” to succeed him.

In the speaker’s role, Pittsburgh Republican Mike Turzai is expected to win another term. When Turzai briefly ran for governor last year, he told LNP that Cutler was “a real leader” and “a really good friend.”

In another sign of Cutler’s rising status in Harrisburg, the legislator quadrupled his personal fundraising record this year, with at least $392,814 raised through mid-October. He in-turn donated most of those funds to other Republican state House candidates.

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