Freedom Caucus members mull RSC bids

A pair of Freedom Caucus members, Reps. Andy Harris (R-Md.) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), are considering running to lead the conservative Republican Study Committee. 

But they’ve made a gentleman’s agreement that they won’t both jump in the race.

{mosads}“I know we will not run against each other,” Franks said in an interview after he spoke with Harris earlier in the day. “It’s accurate to say we are both interested in it and we are both extremely close friends. I hold the man in the absolute highest affection and honor.”

Asked if he would enter the RSC race if Harris bowed out, Franks replied: “You’re not far off.”

If either Harris or Franks decides to run, they’d face off with freshman Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.), a Baptist minister and the only declared candidate so far. Other candidates could emerge in the coming days.

RSC founders will interview candidates next week; the group will hold a closed-door vote on Nov. 17 after the presidential election.

The winner will succeed current RSC Chairman Bill Flores (R-Texas), who is wrapping up his two-year term leading the bloc of 170 conservative House members.

Both Harris and Franks belong to the far-right House Freedom Caucus that pressured Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to resign a year ago. But Franks said he “wouldn’t be running as a Freedom Caucus candidate.”

Their possible entry into the race comes as fellow Freedom colleagues, including Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), have indicated they would be dropping out of the RSC.

“I would like to see Republican conservatives not devolve into factions here,” Franks said, “because the days ahead are full of opportunity and danger as much as they’ve ever been.”

Harris, a physician, mulled a bid for the RSC post two years ago but dropped out of the race after his wife unexpectedly died of a heart attack.


Tags Bill Flores Boehner House Freedom Caucus John Boehner Republican Study Committee Trent Franks

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