By David Mikhail - 02/02/06 12:00 AM EST
Many lawmakers have remained quiet on their endorsements in today's House leadership elections, but a select few have publicly announced their intentions for majority leader, whip and policy chairman.
Congressional officials note that the longer a member remains uncommitted, the more leverage he or she has in trading their vote for a political or legislative favor. Thirteen House members have opted not to play that game, publicly backing candidates in the three races.
Five of the 13 come from the South Florida Republican delegation: Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, Mark Foley, Clay Shaw and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. All are publicly backing the same contenders for the three contests: Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) for majority leader, Eric Cantor (R-Va.) for majority whip and Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) for policy chairman.
Four Michigan GOP members have also endorsed candidates in each of the races. Reps. Dave Camp and Joe Schwarz are backing Blunt, while Reps. Vernon Ehlers and Joe Knollenberg support Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio). The four members are all supporting Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, from Michigan's 11th District, for policy chairman. Three of the four are backing Rep. Mike Rogers from Michigan's 8th District for whip, while Camp opted to endorse Cantor.
Sage Eastman, a spokesman for Camp, said the decision to support Cantor was largely based on Camp's "very close working relationship" with Cantor on the Ways and Means Committee. Eastman added that Camp notified Rogers that he was endorsing Cantor.
Small Business Committee Chairman Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.), meanwhile, has endorsed Boehner, Rep. Todd Tiarht (R-Kan.) for whip and McCotter.
Lee Terry (R-Neb.), who is on the Energy and Commerce Committee with Blunt and Shadegg, is supporting Boehner, along with Tiahrt and McCotter.
Reps. Henry Bonilla (R-Texas) and John Carter (R-Texas) are both supporting Blunt and Cantor, but Bonilla will be supporting Putnam while Carter has endorsed McCotter in the policy race.