Wagner passes on NRCC bid, backs Stivers

Wagner passes on NRCC bid, backs Stivers
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Rep. Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) will not run to be the next chair of the House Republican campaign arm and instead is throwing her support behind Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio).

In a statement Thursday, Wagner said she had been humbled by colleagues encouraging her to run for chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).
 
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​"​Though we have had great success in electing conservative leaders to Congress, we must not allow Nancy Pelosi and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocratic Socialists of America endorses Sanders for president How to end the Electoral College and elect our next president by popular vote CNN town halls put network at center of Dem primary MORE to diminish our gains," she said. 
 
"Based on my experience working with Rep. Stivers in House leadership and at the NRCC, I am confident that he will lead us forward and build upon the record breaking success that we have achieved under Chairman Greg Walden.​"​

Her decision sets up a two-way race between Stivers and Rep. Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems aim to end anti-Semitism controversy with vote today CPAC attendees say Biden poses greatest threat to Trump Don’t look for House GOP to defy Trump on border wall MORE (R-Texas) to succeed Walden (R-Ore.) as NRCC chair. Walden is stepping down at the end of the year after wrapping up his second campaign cycle.

Williams, who owns a car dealership, has touted his past fundraising experience; he’s raised cash for people like former President George W. Bush and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Stivers is one of Walden’s three deputy NRCC chairmen. He leads the committee’s Patriot Program, which focuses on protecting Republicans in tough races.

Wagner, who also had a deputy role under Walden, is a Bush family loyalist and a former top Republican National Committee official.

Her move will fuel speculation that she may try to challenge vulnerable two-term Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillLobbying world Dem candidate has Hawley served subpoena at CPAC Annual scorecard ranks GOP environmental efforts far below Dems in 2018 MORE (D-Mo.), who’s up for reelection in 2018.