Elise Stefanik seeks another term as House GOP conference chairwoman
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer are throwing their weight behind Stefanik for conference chairwoman and plan to actively whip members to support her, sources exclusively told CNN on Tuesday.
“I am proud to have unified the entire Republican Conference around our country in crisis message and shattered fundraising records as House GOP Conference Chair raising over $10M for candidates and committees this cycle,” Stefanik said in her announcement. “With the broad support of NY21 and my House GOP colleagues, I intend to run for Conference Chair in the next Congress.”
Freshman Rep. Ashley Hinson of Iowa, who had been interested in running for conference chair if Stefanik didn’t run, is backing Stefanik for the job.
Republicans have acknowledged it’s important to have a woman in GOP leadership, and there are no women running for any of the top three positions, so it gives even more momentum for Stefanik to stay on as conference chairwoman.
However, Stefanik will still have a challenger for conference chair: Freshman Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, a member of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, officially announced a bid to chair the House Republican Conference earlier Tuesday and has begun asking GOP colleagues for their support, multiple sources tell CNN.
Meanwhile, Emmer, the chairman of the House GOP’s campaign arm, has confirmed through a spokesman that he intends to run for GOP whip if Republicans win the majority this fall. Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Drew Ferguson of Georgia are also interested in the No. 3 post.
These next three weeks will be critical for building support for any leadership bids, since it’s the last opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with other members before the midterms. Internal leadership elections will take place sometime after the November elections.