Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador announced a late-entry bid for Majority Leader but faces a steep climb after Whip Kevin McCarthy has already garnered significant support over the past three days.
Eric Cantor’s Tuesday defeat sent a clear message that “Americans are looking for a change in the status quo,” Labraodor said in a statement.
“I want a House Leadership team that reflects the best of our conference,” the Idaho Republican said in a statement Friday. “A leadership team that can bring the Republican conference together. A leadership team that can help unite and grow our party. Americans don’t believe their leaders in Washington are listening and now is the time to change that.”
Thursday evening House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) dropped out of the race for majority leader. Hours earlier, Thursday morning, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), thought to be conservatives’ best hope of attaining the slot, balked at running.
The lack of a serious conservative challenge this week left conservatives shaking their heads.
“Shame on all of us. Here’s the conservative movement, and we were all asleep at the switch. We did not galvanize behind a guy, or a person, and we waited until the die was cast. If conservatives are going to do more than throwing mud in people’s eyes, if we’re going to actually win some battles, then we damn well better get on our game,” one conservative lawmaker told Breitbart Thursday.
Labrador’s name was floating around as a possible alternative and one that was being encouraged to hop in, however the conservative lawmaker noted that such a tardy effort by a relatively new member would be a “token opposition just to say we put up fight like at the Alamo.”
Nevertheless Labrador, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, is in.
“President Obama and the Democrats have had their chance and they have failed,” Labrador said Friday. “Republicans must be willing to take these challenges head on with new leadership, fresh ideas, and a different approach. I am running for Majority Leader because I want to help create a vision of growth and opportunity for everyone and start getting to work for the American people.”