Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) has won the position of Vice Chairman of the Senate Republican conference, one that is considered to be the conference’s Number 5 leadership post. Sen. Blunt, who announced his candidacy only last week, was elected, via secret ballot, over Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), a conservative Republican who won his Senate seat in 2010 with the support of the Tea Party. Sen. Johnson had been publicly endorsed by 11 Members of the Senate, including Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S. Carolina), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), and Marco Rubio (R-Florida).
Prior to his election to the Senate in 2010, Sen. Blunt was a member of the House of Representatives for 14 years where he served in leadership capacities. According to the Washington Post, he is presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s chief advocate on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Blunt will join Sen. John Thune (R-S. Dakota), who was elected Chairman of the Senate GOP conference, and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), who will serve as chair of the GOP policy committee. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), who is currently the Republican Whip, and in the Number 2 post behind Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), will be retiring at the end of next year.