House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said Sunday he has secured the votes to be elected majority leader, the No. 2 job in GOP leadership.

The Louisiana Republican held a conference call with backers Sunday evening during which he indicated he’s locked up support from more than half of the 247-member GOP conference. Closed-door voting for the majority leader post is expected on Thursday, though some Republicans are pushing to delay it until after a new Speaker is sworn in.

{mosads}“I’ve been making calls all day. I haven’t stopped working, and I know you haven’t stopped working either,” Scalise said, according to a source on the call. “In this race, the winning number has always been 124. A couple of days ago, we actually hit that number and we’re continuing to add to it each day.”

Scalise, the current No. 2 Republican in leadership, is squaring off with Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) in the race for GOP leader, a post occupied by Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is running for Speaker. Current Speaker John Boehner announced he is retiring at the end of OCtober.

Both Scalise and Price are red-state conservatives who previously have served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee.

Last week, several Republicans tried to draft Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) into the majority leader’s race, but he said he was focused on leading the House panel investigating the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

A source close to Scalise said the congressman “has the opportunity to blow the top off this race.”

“We’re over 124, but we’re not slowing down,” Scalise said on the call. “We’re going to continue growing that number because the race isn’t over. I’m asking each of you to continue growing that number with me. This team is going to be what helps us get there.” 

Tags Kevin McCarthy Steve Scalise Tom Price

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