By Scott Wong - 09/28/15 10:38 AM EDT
Conservative Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the powerful Financial Services Committee, won't run for leadership, a senior GOP source said Monday.
Hensarling will pass on a bid for both Speaker and majority leader following Ohio Republican John BoehnerJohn BoehnerCameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in Rubio flies with Obama on Air Force One to Orlando Juan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan MORE's surprise announcement Friday that he would relinquish the Speaker's gavel and step down from Congress on Oct. 30.
He will instead back a fellow conservative, Budget Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) in the race for majority leader, the No. 2 job, according to a senior GOP lawmaker who received a call from Hensarling over the weekend.
A Hensarling spokeswoman had no comment. But Hensarling passed on a leadership bid as recently as last year, ultimately deciding not to challenge Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in the race for the No. 2 job after then-Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorJuan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan The Trail 2016: The Big One Conservative sworn in to replace Boehner MORE (R-Va.) was ousted from office in his GOP primary.
Hensarling's decision makes next month's majority leader race a three-way contest between Price, Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and GOP Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersGOP campaign chief: Turn up the heat on Clinton GOP rep: Ryan's agenda to restore representative government Restoring the VA's promise to veterans MORE (R-Wash.), the only woman running so far for a top-tier leadership post.
Current Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the heavy favorite over Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) in the race to replace BoehnerJohn BoehnerCameras go dark during House Democrats' sit-in Rubio flies with Obama on Air Force One to Orlando Juan Williams: The capitulation of Paul Ryan MORE.