It’s being reported that neither Paul Ryan (WI) or Joe Barton (TX) will challenge John Boehner for minority leader. Right now, no serious contender has stepped forward to unseat the man who lead House Republicans to two massive electoral defeats in a row, though conservative darling Jeff Flake (AZ) has been making some noise:
Conservative Rep. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) was the first publicly out of the gate calling for the House leadership team to be replaced.
“Much of the backroom maneuvering and media speculation in the coming weeks will focus on identifying new standard-bearers for the party…[t]his is important, and after a second-straight drubbing, the House Republican leadership should be replaced. But the far more critical task is determining what standard these new leaders will bear.”
VA Rep. Eric Cantor will replace Roy Blunt as Minority Whip; his candidacy for that position is currently uncontested.
On the other hand, there’s a massive battle brewing to replace Adam Putnam as the GOP’s #3 guy in the House; Roll Call is reporting on the current list of candidates:
Republican Study Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas), former RSC Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) and Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.) were campaigning for the third-ranking House GOP slot, with Rep. Mike Rogers (Mich.) among several others mentioned as possible candidates.
And the long-running fight between John Boehner and NRCC Chairman Tom Cole is now a full-fledged wildfire: Texas Rep. Pete Sessions is challenging Cole to head the NRCC and Boehner is throwing his weight–well, whatever of it he has left–behind Sessions.
I don’t know how this will all end, but it’s looking like the GOP’s leadership in the next Congress will be very different than the GOP’s leadership in this past Congress. Hopefully for them their new leadership will have learned some lessons from these past two elections, but I wouldn’t be too confident of that.