Raul Labrador Thinking About a Run for No. 2 House GOP Job

The conservative considers challenging Kevin McCarthy for majority leader, a source says.

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), speaks at the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC), on February 10, 2011 in Washington, DC. The CPAC annual gathering is a project of the American Conservative Union. 
National Journal
Tim Alberta
June 12, 2014, 3:49 p.m.

Raul Lab­rador is quietly con­sid­er­ing a cam­paign for House ma­jor­ity lead­er, ac­cord­ing to a source fa­mil­i­ar with the con­gress­man’s think­ing, po­ten­tially set­ting up a head-to-head con­test with Ma­jor­ity Whip Kev­in Mc­Carthy to re­place Eric Can­tor.

“He’s get­ting a lot of en­cour­age­ment from oth­er mem­bers,” the source said.

Lab­rador was ap­proached by sev­er­al in­flu­en­tial con­ser­vat­ive mem­bers Thursday morn­ing after Rep. Jeb Hensarling an­nounced he would not chal­lenge Mc­Carthy for the No. 2 spot in lead­er­ship.

While Lab­rador en­joys strong sup­port among the most con­ser­vat­ive mem­bers of the House GOP, it’s un­clear wheth­er he would have the abil­ity — with the spe­cial elec­tion less than a week away — to build a broad­er co­ali­tion cap­able of giv­ing Mc­Carthy a com­pet­it­ive race.

As Lab­rador con­tem­plated their en­cour­age­ment to enter the race, an­oth­er Re­pub­lic­an, Rep. Pete Ses­sions, dropped his bid.

Lab­rador is now care­fully con­sid­er­ing wheth­er he wants to enter the fray — and wheth­er he could pos­sibly win.

An out­spoken sopho­more law­maker from Idaho, he is one of the most pop­u­lar tea-party-al­lied mem­bers of the GOP’s right flank.

Lab­rador has oc­ca­sion­ally rubbed some Re­pub­lic­ans the wrong way with his vo­cal cri­ti­cism of the cur­rent lead­er­ship team. He has fre­quently at­tacked that team for be­ing too pass­ive and is one of 12 mem­bers who re­fused to sup­port Speak­er John Boehner’s reelec­tion. He has con­sist­ently said the lead­er­ship team is not rep­res­ent­at­ive of the con­fer­ence be­cause it does not in­clude a red-state Re­pub­lic­an.

Lab­rador’s name has oc­ca­sion­ally been men­tioned as a dark-horse can­did­ate for a lead­er­ship po­s­i­tion. In fact, earli­er this year, Lab­rador joked in an in­ter­view with Na­tion­al Journ­al that he might “do something crazy” like run for speak­er of the House.

It’s un­clear what his timetable is for mak­ing a de­cision. Many law­makers have already left Wash­ing­ton and will not re­turn un­til Monday.

This story was up­dated with the news that Rep. Ses­sions had dropped his bid for ma­jor­ity lead­er.

What We're Following See More »
TAPING IN NEW YORK TODAY
Biden to Guest on ‘Law and Order: SVU’
13 minutes ago
WHY WE CARE

"Vice President Joe Biden will appear in an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit that will mention the backlog of untested rape kits in many cities, as well as efforts to end violence against women—an issue close to Biden, who authored the Violence Against Women Act in 1994." He'll be in New York to tape the episode today.

Source:
PREEMPTIVE STRIKE?
Clinton Heading to the Rust Belt
33 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"Clinton's first order of business after the Democratic convention is a bus trip through the electoral battlegrounds of Pennsylvania and Ohio, the opening move in a strategy to defend her party's grip on states President Barack Obama won and to brand her opponent as unfit to be president. It shows a campaign eager to close off a likely effort by Donald Trump, her Republican opponent, to build an Electoral College majority by winning working-class, white voters in the Rust Belt and other slowly diversifying states."

Source:
RUSSIANS AGAIN?
FBI Probing Hack at DCCC
42 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

"The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) that may be related to an earlier hack at the Democratic National Committee." The intrusion "may have been intended to gather information about donors, rather than to steal money."

Source:
DO THEY NEED TO GET TO 15%?
Will Romney Endorse the Libertarian Ticket?
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson told CNN Thursday that Mitt Romney was considering endorsing him for president this fall." He said the two had recently spoken. Johnson's running mate, Bill Weld, agreed that they have a good chance of winning the endorsement, especially if they meet the 15% polling threshold for participating in the presidential debates.

Source:
FIRST WOMAN NOMINATED BY MAJOR PARTY
Hillary Clinton Accepts the Democratic Nomination for President
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"It is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president," said Hillary Clinton in becoming the first woman to accept a nomination for president from a major party. Clinton gave a wide-ranging address, both criticizing Donald Trump and speaking of what she has done in the past and hopes to do in the future. "He's taken the Republican party a long way, from morning in America to midnight in America," Clinton said of Trump. However, most of her speech focused instead on the work she has done and the work she hopes to do as president. "I will be a president of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For the struggling, the striving, the successful," she said. "For those who vote for me and for those who don't. For all Americans together."

×