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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — House Republicans have chosen Rep. Thom Tillis as their nominee to become the next speaker of the North Carolina House.

The House GOP caucus meeting Saturday afternoon in Raleigh chose the Mecklenburg County lawmaker by secret ballot during a closed-door meeting. The vote results weren’t immediately released, but House member Mitchell Setzer confirmed Tillis’ victory.

Since Republicans are in the clear majority, Tillis is all but assured to win election when the Legislature reconvenes in January.

Current Minority Leader Paul Stam of Apex and Reps. Ric Killian of Charlotte and Mitch Gillespie of Marion also were running.

Tillis is a former business consultant who was elected this month to his third term in the House.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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