Rep. Mike Johnson wins race for RSC chairman

Rep. Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonCongress holds first Equal Rights Amendment hearing in 36 years amid ratification push House panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales Lawmakers push crackdown on foreign lobbyists MORE (R-La.) was elected to succeed Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerNCAA to consider allowing student athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness Members spar over sexual harassment training deadline Colorado state senators plan to introduce bill to let NCAA athletes get paid MORE (R-N.C.) as chairman of the Republican Study Committee on Friday.

Johnson, a freshman member, edged out Rep. Tom McClintockThomas (Tom) Milller McClintockConservation happens one animal at a time House passes bill expressing support for NATO Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds MORE (R-Calif.) in the race to lead the largest conservative caucus in Congress.

"We’re just honored to have the trust of our colleagues and I'm really thankful for the opportunity. As I’ve said to all of my colleagues since the summer, I really believe the next two years are going to be the RSC’s finest moment," Johnson said following his win.

"It’s never been more important than it is now to speak with clarity, conviction and consistency about what we believe, why we believe it and why it’s best for America."

Walker, who was elected vice chairman of the House Republican Conference earlier this week, said he looks forward to working with Johnson on messaging and conservative priorities.

"The RSC is in great hands moving forward with his experience, both in his legal field as well as the values that he has been representing long before he came to Congress. That puts us up for a good two years," Walker said.

The position has been a springboard into leadership positions and higher office for a number of GOP lawmakers. Vice President Pence, House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTrump encouraged Scalise to run for governor in Louisiana: report We owe a debt of gratitude to all our police officers and their families House votes to extend flood insurance program MORE (R-La.) and Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanMueller mystery: Will he ever testify to Congress? Ohio State report documents 177 cases of sexual misconduct by team doctor Republicans defend drug company in spotlight over HIV medication prices MORE (R-Ohio) have all served in the role.

Rep. Bill FloresWilliam (Bill) Hose FloresOvernight Energy: GOP lawmaker parodies Green New Deal in new bill | House Republicans accuse Dems of ramming through climate bill | Park Service chief grilled over shutdown House Republicans accuse Dems of ramming through climate bill Seven Republicans vote against naming post office after ex-Rep. Louise Slaughter MORE (R-Texas), who served as chairman during the 114th Congress, said while he voted for McClintock, he believed Johnson will succeed in the position.

"The good thing is we were blessed to have two great options, two great leaders running to be our RSC chair. And the RSC membership picked Mike and I think we are in good hands with him," he said.

"I supported Tom, but I still feel really good about the outcome and what I'm hoping Mike will do is use Tom as part of our budget task force, because he does great work."

Walker is slated to hand over the gavel to Johnson in December.