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Hensarling to pass on leadership bid

Hensarling to pass on leadership bid
© Anne Wernikoff

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 Andrew BoehnerLobbying World Freedom Caucus wants budget reforms attached to debt limit increase Trey Gowdy announces retirement from Congress 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.

"He's not running for anything, it seems," said a second GOP lawmaker. 

A spokeswoman for Hensarling confirmed the news after the story was posted.

"After prayerful consideration, Chairman Hensarling is not a candidate for a leadership position," the spokeswoman said in an email. "He will support Chairman Price for majority leader."

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 Ivan Cantor'Release the memo' — let's stop pretending that Democrats are the defenders of the FBI Raúl Labrador, a model for Hispanic politicians reaching higher Eric Cantor: Moore ‘deserves to lose’ 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 RodgersOvernight Health Care: GOP chair blasts DEA over opioid enforcement | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Patient groups oppose 'right to try' drug bill Overnight Regulation: EPA sued over water rule delay | House passes bill to ease ObamaCare calorie rule | Regulators talk bitcoin | Patient groups oppose FDA 'right to try' bill House passes bill to ease menu labeling rules under ObamaCare 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 Andrew BoehnerLobbying World Freedom Caucus wants budget reforms attached to debt limit increase Trey Gowdy announces retirement from Congress MORE.