Freshman Rep. Lankford makes bid for leadership post

Freshman Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) is making a bid to join the House Republican leadership team in 2013 with a run for chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.

“If elected, I will work tirelessly to ensure the Republican Conference continues to promote thoughtful and commonsense legislation that directly addresses the needs of the American people," Lankford said in an announcement Thursday morning. 

"Bringing together smart policy ideas from all corners of our conference is essential for creating jobs, reducing our debt and empowering a free-market economy to ensure our children's future is better than our own.”

The policy committee is an ideas forum in the Republican conference, but more than anything the post represents a seat at the leadership table for the chairman. The current chairman, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), is gunning for the position of conference chairman, the fourth-ranking spot in the leadership.

Lankford has been among the more vocal and ambitious members of the GOP’s large freshman class, but he has rarely strayed far from leadership.

As of now, he is the only lawmaker running for the policy committee chairmanship.