Following the stunning upset of Majority Leader Eric Cantor last night, the Capitol is the political equivalent of a Black Friday stampede as top Republicans burn up the phone lines looking for support.
It’s a highly fluid situation, but some clarity is emerging on early entrants into two big races.
Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is expected to vie for Majority Leader, but House Rules Committee Chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) is discussing making a bid for the seat with colleagues. According to a senior lawmaker, Boehner would likely back McCarthy, who many Republicans consider the frontrunner for the slot.
For the whip spot that opens with McCarthy’s departure, Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) is going to run and chief deputy whip Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) will enter as well.
House GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rogers is discussing a bid for either seat with colleagues.
Cantor did not reveal his intentions in brief remarks to reporters this morning, but the Washington Post is reporting he will not wage a write-in campaign against David Brat.
House Financial Services Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) said he is “prayerfully” considering his options. He and former Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) are darkhorse candidates that could capture support from the right flank of the conference.
House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is not interested in running for leadership, he told a reporter this morning.
The races for each spot could occur quickly, as early as next week, although they are not seen as the final word on the issue necessarily.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) released a statement: