Sen. Hutchison to seek Policy Committee post

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has set her sights on the Republican Policy Committee chair, the No. 4 post in the Republican leadership — just a few days after deciding not to run for governor of Texas.

“She’s been thinking about running for policy chair for a long time now,” said her spokesman, Chris Paulitz. “This is something she’s solidified. … She’s made up her mind.”

On Monday, Hutchison told The Hill she would make her decision after talking to the current policy chairman, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). “I’m trying to determine the best place for me,” she said, adding that she would not challenge a current leader who was trying to move up in the leadership ranks.

Kyl is expected to seek the GOP conference chair next year, and Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) could seek Hutchison’s current vice-chair spot. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) is expected to retire in 2006.

Hutchison recently decided not to challenge Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), in a decision some have said was a great relief to the White House. President Bush has indicated he will stay neutral in the upcoming GOP governor primary in Texas.