Texas freshman looks to challenge NRCC chairman

Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) is making moves to challenge National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) for the chairmanship after this fall's elections, The Hill has confirmed.

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House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Williams told him of his plans, and Boehner made it clear he would back Walden at a House leadership meeting, a leadership aide tells The Hill.

Walden told reporters on Tuesday that he "fully intend[s] to seek reelection" as NRCC chairman after this election.

Williams's office wouldn't confirm the meeting but sent along a statement from the congressman that made it clear running for NRCC chairman has been a topic of conversation.

"No one is more committed to the NRCC and to ensuring a Republican victory in November than I am," Williams says in the statement. "I have worked tirelessly for the NRCC and have raised at least $1.1 million for the conservative cause. Right now, my focus is on November. And while I have been approached by several members to discuss the future of the NRCC, I believe the focus right now must be on winning in November."

The NRCC has lagged behind the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in fundraising the past few years. Williams, who is currently the NRCC's finance chairman, is known as a strong fundraiser. The wealthy auto dealer first got involved in politics as a fundraiser for President George W. Bush's 1994 gubernatorial campaign, and he's well connected in his deep-pocketed home state.

The NRCC sent along quotes of support for Walden from other influential Republicans as a show of strength for the chairman, including from one of Williams's Lone Star State colleagues, former NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions.

"I am thrilled to hear that my friend Greg Walden intends to serve another term as NRCC chairman and carry out the work we started together. Because of Greg’s hard work, our Republican majority is well-protected and Nancy Pelosi has no hope of becoming Speaker of the House ever again," Sessions said in a statement.

 "It's been an honor to work with Greg this cycle on behalf of our colleagues, and I look forward to continuing to support him as NRCC chairman as we can expand our majority and take the fight to the Democrats," NRCC Deputy Chairman Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.) said.

Roll Call first reported Williams's interest in running for NRCC chairman.