House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers announced Wednesday she will not seek to move up in GOP leadership ranks right now, despite word that Majority Leader Eric Cantor plans to step down in the wake of his primary defeat Tuesday.
“After much encouragement from my colleagues, conversations with my family, and many prayers, I have decided to remain Conference Chair at this time,” she said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “I look forward to continue leading my colleagues and building on our successes to introduce a culture of innovation to Capitol Hill, improve the image of House Republicans, and unite our entire Conference behind conservative solutions that serve people in every corner of America.”
Speculation had already started to swirl around McMorris Rodgers, currently the fourth-ranked House Republican leader, as someone who might seek to succeed Cantor as leader or possibly move up to majority whip.
She is the highest-ranked Republican woman in the House. And she gained more national recognition earlier this year when she was tapped to give the official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address.
But for now, she’s staying put.