House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) will not run for Majority Leader, he said in a statement.
“Although I am humbled by the calls, emails, and conversations from my colleagues encouraging me to return to leadership for the remainder of the 113th Congress, I will not be a candidate for Majority Leader next week. After prayerful reflection, I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right office at the right time for me and my family. I look forward to working with the new Majority Leader to fight for a freer, stronger, more prosperous America as Chairman of the Financial Services Committee and the Representative of the Fifth District of Texas,” Hensarling said.
The move leaves the right flank of the GOP conference without a standard bearer in the race. “Maybe he’s waiting for the next time a sitting Majority Leader loses a primary race,” deadpanned a frustrated conservative strategist.
“All the conservative focus has turned sharply to convincing Jim Jordan to run for Majority Leader,” a senior GOP aide said.
House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) is working to run to Whip Kevin McCarthy’s right on immigration in the race. Current Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan are backing McCarthy.
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), another key conservative, announced he is not pursuing any leadership positions this morning as well.
Meanwhile, Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) announced a bid for Whip, pitting him against Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise (R-LA) and current chief deputy whip Peter Roskamn (R-IL).
“I’m running,” Stutzman told Howey Politics Indiana this morning. “I just made that decision.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is running for Republican Study Committee chairman in the event that Scalise is elected Whip.
Matthew Boyle contributed reporting.