Friday, January 20, 2006

Will Pence Become The Kingmaker In GOP Leadership Race?

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), the chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, threw his support tonight behind outsider Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ) in the race to succeed Tom DeLay as House Republican Majority Leader. Pence's support is considered pivotal, given the independence many of the more than 100 conservative members of the HRSC have shown in recent showdowns with the House GOP leadership on budgetary matters.

Since Shadegg announced his entry into the 3-way race last week against Missouri's Roy Blunt and Ohio's John Boehner, publicly announced support for Blunt and Boehner seemed to peak according to a daily tally reported by the Hill. In that tally, Blunt leads both contenders considerably with 86 supporters compared to 47 for Boehner and 7 for Shadegg. But the Hill notes that Shadegg is not releasing the names of his supporters; only those who have publicly declared their intentions are reported in their tally.

Many of the undeclared members belong to the HRSC and are likely to view the race similarly to their leader, Rep. Pence. About one-half of the HRSC members are listed as supporting either Blunt or Boehner, but some have questioned the true commitment of those members to these candidates. Blunt has also claimed that he has more than enough votes to win the race, but he declined a challenge to relinquish the leadership position he currently holds, Majority Whip, signaling to some members that he is bluffing about the number of his supporters he has.

In annoucing his support for Shadegg, the Associated Press quoted Pence as saying: "We need leadership with the energy and vision to steer this Congress back to our roots of fiscal discipline, limited government and traditional values." Don't be surprised to see others begin jumping on the Shadegg bandwagon soon, including Indiana's Rep. Mark Souder. As Shadegg's support grows, Boehner is likely to fade quickly and drop out of the race altogether before a vote is taken in early February, pitting a Washington insider against a true outsider.

1 comment:

LP Mike Sylvester said...

If there were a LOT more Republicans like Mike Pence, I doubt that The Republican Party would have left me a few years ago...

If the Republicans of today believed in smaller government (Which they do not), lowering spending (Which they do not), or fulfilled the promises they made in 1994 with The Contract for America I would still be a Republican today.

That being said, I am a Libertarian. I cannot stand the large government party The Republicans have become...

Please check out my blog at:

I welcome Republicans. I posted 18 posts a few months ago about The Republican Contract with America. I could not find ONE Republican who would try to say The Republicans have honored their promises... Not one.

Mike Sylvester