Leadership Notes: In May 1979, he was chosen to serve as Minority Leader by the Independent Republican caucus. This occurred because the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party gained majority status, ending the need for the leadership compromise that had been in effect.
Speaker of the House
Leadership Notes: After the November 1978 election, the House was evenly split along party lines (67 Republicans/67 Democrats). He was elected Speaker in 1979 as part of a compromise between the two parties. "The agreement gives the Republicans the speaker pro tem post as well as the speakership, 12 committee chairmanships and the chairmanships of all the divisions of both the appropriations and tax committees. They also get a one-vote majority on the tax divisions . . . . The agreement . . . gives the DFL the chairmanship of the three most powerful committees in the House - rules, taxes and appropriations. They also get a one-vote majority on the rules and tax committees, a Democrat floor leader and the same number of committee chairmanships as the Republicans." (Davies, Tom. "Minnesota House Elects Searle its Speaker." Minneapolis Tribune, January 9, 1979).