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 BoehnerDem drops out of race for Boehner's old seat Conservative allies on opposite sides in GOP primary fight Clinton maps out first 100 days 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 CantorThree strategies to help Clinton build 'Team of Teams' David Brat may run for Senate if Kaine becomes VP The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 RodgersTransforming VA care: A way forward Dozens of GOP lawmakers staying away from Trump's convention GOP House leaders tout health, poverty solutions 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 BoehnerDem drops out of race for Boehner's old seat Conservative allies on opposite sides in GOP primary fight Clinton maps out first 100 days MORE.