House GOP lawmakers vying for policy post

Four lawmakers vying to become House GOP policy chairman, a post vacated by Rep. John Shadegg (Ariz.), are taking widely different approaches to the race.

The candidates are Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Phil GingreyJohn (Phil) Phillip Gingrey2017's top health care stories, from ObamaCare to opioids Beating the drum on healthcare Former GOP chairman joins K Street MORE (Ga.) and Adam Putnam (Fla.).

Taking a “stream of consciousness” approach, McCotter, who insists he has 30 supporters and names 22 of them, says in a letter to colleagues, “Yes, I, too, am surprised by this letter. Truth be told, I never envisioned seeking such a position because I’m a bald, guitar-twanging back-bencher on four B-committees from a borderline district in a blue state.”

McCotter closes by saying, “If you have waded through the stream of consciousness enough without drowning in boredom, first I congratulate you, and secondly I again appeal for you support.” But, he says, if you “disagree with my proposal or choose to support another of our immensely respected and talented colleagues seeking this position, it’s cool.”

Putnam claimed 37 public supporters and a total count of more than 60 votes, said spokesman John Hambel. Putnam’s 17-member “whip team” includes eight fellow Floridians, Rep. Doc HastingsRichard (Doc) Norman HastingsCongress just resolved a 20-year debate over Neolithic remains Boehner hires new press secretary GOP plots new course on Endangered Species Act reform MORE (Wash.) and Rep. Hal Rogers (Ky.).

Gingrey, who entered the race one day before McCotter, continued to work the phones yesterday after returning from a congressional trip to Antarctica. Gingrey is likely to release a count by the end of today. Issa has chosen not to disclose supporters publicly at this point, said spokesman Frederick Hill.