ANDERSON  — House Speaker Brian Bosma says his goal is simply to ensure a smooth transition.

The plan is that his hand-picked successor, State Rep. Todd Huston, will spend much of the coming session as something of an understudy, learning the tricks of the trade during Bosma’s farewell tour.

“Most of it you see, and most of the members see, is out here at the podium,” Bosma said. “The vast majority of the job is conducted elsewhere, behind the scenes trying to bring policies to a close and people together to move Indiana in the right direction.”

The 62-year-old Bosma is Indiana’s longest-serving House speaker. He first  held the reins from 2004 to 2006, before giving them up when Democrats won control of the House of Representatives. He won the job back when Republicans regained power in 2010.

The party’s leaders seem to be on board with Bosma’s succession plan. Take this statement from the party chairman, Kyle Hupfer. “During his service in the House, Todd has demonstrated the dedicated, thoughtful and principled leadership needed to serve as speaker,” Hupfer said in a prepared statement. “Brian Bosma leaves behind a historic legacy of accomplishment that will continue with Todd Huston now at the helm.”

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statement saying that Huston had already proven himself to be a strong leader. “Having a year to learn from Speaker Bosma will prove invaluable,” the governor said.

Of course, it’s a little early to say whether Bosma’s grand plan will come to fruition. The only thing certain at this point is that Bosma won’t have a vote. He plans to resign late in the coming session and thus won’t be around when the next speaker is chosen after the 2020 election.

There’s no guarantee Republicans will have the majority. Heck, it’s not even certain Huston will be in office.

He won’t be if Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody has anything to say about it. Zody says his party will target Huston’s seat. “Huston will be catching wind with a net to keep ultra-conservative allies on board while running in a purple district,” he said.

Zody pointed out that the district takes in Fishers, a community that elected two Democrats to the city council this year for the first time ever.

To his credit, the 47-year-old Huston does not sound like a guy who plans to run roughshod over the opposition. He called the House minority leader, Phil GiaQuinta, “one of the finest people I know.”

“I appreciate a place where we can agree to disagree, but we can also say that we really enjoy each other,” Huston said. “And I don’t want to change that.”

I suppose Republicans can be forgiven for thinking they have a monopoly on Indiana government. They’ve been firmly in control for much of the past decade.

The party holds super majorities in both houses of the General Assembly, meaning that Democrats not only aren’t in charge, they have very little voice in formulating legislation.

Still, it’s that four-year interruption in Bosma’s tenure in the late 2000s that should perhaps give Republicans at least a moment of pause.

Throughout this state’s history, the pendulum has always swung back and forth. Democrats controlled the Indiana House for much of the 1990s and early 2000s. And you can bet that one day they’ll win control again. One way to speed the process along might be to take the voters for granted by assuming you’ll win an election before the first vote has been cast.

Could Bosma’s effort to choose his successor backfire on Republicans? I guess we’ll find out next November. 

Kelly Hawes is a columnist for CNHI News Indiana. He can be reached at Find him on Twitter @Kelly_Hawes.