Pete Sessions Adds His Name to List of Potential Contenders for House Majority Leader

The former NRCC chairman could cash in on political favors, but a run against Jeb Hensarling would split the Texas delegation.

National Journal
Sarah Mimms
June 11, 2014, 7:22 a.m.

Rules Com­mit­tee Chair­man Pete Ses­sions has thrown his hat in­to the ring as a po­ten­tial con­tender for House ma­jor­ity lead­er, an aide con­firmed Wed­nes­day.

Ses­sions, a Texas Re­pub­lic­an, is already lin­ing up sup­port­ers for a po­ten­tial bid, the aide said. The po­s­i­tion will be va­cated by Eric Can­tor, who lost a primary Tues­day night in a ma­jor up­set.

Ses­sions may be able to cap­it­al­ize on his four years as chair­man of the Na­tion­al Re­pub­lic­an Con­gres­sion­al Com­mit­tee, where he raised money for Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates across the coun­try and over­saw the tea-party wave of 2010, when the party picked up 63 seats in the House.

A Ses­sions bid could be boos­ted by sup­port from the Texas del­eg­a­tion, the largest group­ing of Re­pub­lic­ans in the House. But fel­low Tex­an Jeb Hensarling has an­nounced that he is “pray­er­fully con­sid­er­ing” a bid of his own, point­ing to a po­ten­tial rift in the del­eg­a­tion should both men de­cide to run.

It’s un­clear at the mo­ment when the race would be­gin. Can­tor could stay on as ma­jor­ity lead­er un­til Novem­ber, but there is some spec­u­la­tion that he could step down earli­er. Can­tor’s con­tin­ued pres­ence as ma­jor­ity lead­er could also ex­acer­bate already high ten­sions between House con­ser­vat­ives and lead­er­ship. Re­pub­lic­an Reps. Raul Lab­rador of Idaho, Tim Huel­skamp of Kan­sas, and Matt Sal­mon of Ari­zona just spoke Tues­day af­ter­noon about a ma­jor lead­er­ship over­haul dur­ing their monthly “Con­ver­sa­tions With Con­ser­vat­ives” event.

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