Congresswomen jockeying for House GOP leadership positions

Four congresswomen are seeking House leadership positions this week following the GOP’s disappointing performance among female voters in the 2012 election.

Should they fare well, there will be more women at the House GOP leadership table than ever before.

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Republicans acknowledge they need to broaden their party’s appeal to women and Latinos, and part of their strategy is to give female and Hispanic lawmakers a louder voice within the party.

The positions of House GOP Conference chairman, vice chairman and secretary all have GOP female lawmakers vying for a leadership role.

Current House GOP Conference Vice Chairwoman Rep. Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersOvernight Finance: Trump calls for ObamaCare mandate repeal, cuts to top tax rate | Trump to visit Capitol Hill in tax reform push | CBO can't do full score before vote | Bipartisan Senate bill would ease Dodd-Frank rules Overnight Regulation: Bipartisan Senate bill would curb Dodd-Frank rules | Opioid testing rule for transport workers finalized | Google faces state antitrust probe | Dems want investigation into FCC chief Trump to visit Capitol Hill amid tax-reform push MORE (Wash.) is running to succeed outgoing Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas). Reps. Lynn Jenkins (Kan.) and Martha RobyMartha Dubina RobyBrooks’s prior attacks on Trump could hurt in Alabama Senate race How the GOP came to dominate, and be dominated by, rural voters House GOP not sold on Ryan’s tax reform plan MORE (Ala.) are running for the vice chairmanship, and Rep. Virginia FoxxVirginia Ann FoxxOvernight Finance: Day three of tax bill markup | Ryan says election results raise pressure for tax reform | Tax whip list - Where Republicans stand | Justice, AT&T spar over CNN sale | 25 Dems vow to block spending without Dream Act Overnight Regulation: House passes bill to overturn joint-employer rule | Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid | Lawmakers 'alarmed' by EPA's science board changes House passes bill to overturn controversial joint-employer ruling MORE (N.C.) is campaigning to succeed Rep. John Carter (Texas) as secretary.

Jenkins and Roby are the only contenders running to succeed McMorris Rodgers, so there will be at least one House GOP leadership seat filled by a woman in the 113th Congress.

The other two races, however, are more difficult to handicap, according to sources tracking the House GOP contests, which are set to be decided on Wednesday.

The most closely watched leadership battle is between McMorris Rodgers and current GOP Policy Chairman Tom Price (Ga.) to become the next GOP Conference chairman.

Supporters of McMorris Rodgers say the two-term conference vice chairwoman has been groomed over the past four years to lead the conference.

A supporter of McMorris Rodgers, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) disputes the notion that gender politics is at play.

“I reject any idea that one of them is going to have an advantage because we are going to try and elect tokens or symbols,” the former National Republican Congressional Committee chairman told The Hill.

Yet other backers of McMorris Rodgers say the lack of diversity at the leadership table, which is dominated by white men, will help her win the fourth-highest-ranking spot in the conference.

“Members will likely feel inclined to elect [McMorris Rodgers] not only because she’s good at her job but to show diversity in the leadership ranks, no question about it,” a GOP source familiar with the internal battle said.

According to an exit poll conducted by the Gallup organization, President Obama carried the female vote by 12 percentage points, 56 percent to 44, over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

Foxx, meanwhile, has a tough fight on her hands.

The North Carolina lawmaker, known for making blunt assessments in the Rules Committee, is running for the sixth-ranking position against Mississippi Rep. Gregg Harper and California Rep. Jeff Denham.

Denham, who survived a tough reelection, will likely have the backing of many lawmakers from the class of 2010, as well as members from California.

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerTrump's pick for Federal Reserve chief is right choice at right time The two-party system is dying — let’s put it out of its misery One year later, neither party can get past last year's election MORE (R-Ohio), Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorIf we want to make immigration great again, let's make it bipartisan Top Lobbyists 2017: Hired Guns GOP Rep. Jeb Hensarling to retire after end of current term MORE (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) are all running unopposed.