Ryan mulls leadership run, could eye Boehner’s spot

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is mulling a run for a leadership position in the 111th Congress, and a spokesman did not rule out his challenging Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Ryan, who is often touted as one of the top young Republicans in the country, has been contacted by several GOP lawmakers about whether he would challenge Boehner.

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“He’s in listening mode — he’s gathering input from several of his colleagues who have contacted him,” said Conor Sweeney, Ryan’s spokesman.

Sweeney, when asked about whether the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee would take Boehner on, said that Ryan “has not ruled anything out.” The spokesman also stated that he could not speak to the nature of the conversations Ryan has had with House colleagues.

Following a second consecutive election defeat, House Republicans are faced with tough choices regarding their leadership and which course they want to pursue in the 111th Congress. The loss has already caused a shakeup, such as House Minority Whip Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.) decision to step down from his position, and Rep. Adam Putnam (Fla.), the third-ranking House Republican, who also said he would not pursue his leadership position again.

However, Boehner’s job has appeared to be relatively safe, and he wasted no time in making it known that he would again seek to lead the House GOP next year.

“I’m deeply disappointed by the outcome of Tuesday’s election,” Boehner wrote Wednesday in a letter to colleagues. “But I’m equally committed to building a lasting majority on the reform principles that define us and inspire our citizens. For this reason, I’m writing today to announce my candidacy for Republican Leader in the 111th Congress, and to request the honor of your vote.”

House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) has announced that he will run for re-election to his leadership post. He is facing a challenge from Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas). 

McCotter is stressing his grasp of the political dynamics in swing districts Republicans will have to capture in future elections if they are to regain majority control.

McCotter announced in a letter Wednesday that he is running with the encouragement of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).

Alexander Bolton contributed to this story.