Politics

Cathy McMorris Rodgers Not Running for Leadership

Washington Republican will instead seek ranking member subcommittee post on Energy and Commerce

Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, has decided not to run for re-election to her leadership position. Instead, she’ll seek a ranking member subcommittee post on the Energy and Commerce Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has decided not to run for re-election to her leadership position and will instead seek a ranking member subcommittee post on the Energy and Commerce Committee.

McMorris Rodgers had wanted to move up in leadership and was eying the whip position had Republicans won the majority. But since Republicans lost and she did not want to challenge Steve Scalise, she decided to pursue a committee leadership slot rather than seek a fourth term as head of the Republican Conference, according to source familiar with her thinking.

Had she run again for Republican Conference chairwoman, McMorris Rodgers would’ve faced competition from freshman Rep. Liz Cheney. The Wyoming Republican announced in a letter to colleagues Wednesday she would run for conference chair, arguing for the need to fundamentally overhaul Republicans’ messaging operation.

McMorris Rodgers, who is a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, decided that leading a subcommittee on a panel that often works on bipartisan legislation is a more appealing position in the minority than leading the Republican Conference, according to the source familiar with her thinking.

The source said McMorris Rodgers is not closing the door on running for leadership again in the future. 

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