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Mike Johnson to run for vice chairman of House GOP conference

Mike Johnson to run for vice chairman of House GOP conference
© Greg Nash

Rep. Mike JohnsonJames (Mike) Michael JohnsonTrump's test sparks fears of spread: Here's who he met in last week Reclaiming the American Dream LWCF modernization: Restoring the promise MORE (R-La.) announced his bid to become the next vice chairman of the House Republican Conference in an email to colleagues on Thursday morning. 

Johnson serves as the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress, and played a key role in defending President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump admin to announce coronavirus vaccine will be covered under Medicare, Medicaid: report Election officials say they're getting suspicious emails that may be part of malicious attack on voting: report McConnell tees up Trump judicial pick following Supreme Court vote MORE during the impeachment proceedings. Outgoing Rep. Mark WalkerBradley (Mark) Mark WalkerWant to prevent Democrat destruction? Save our Senate Joe Biden has long forgotten North Carolina: Today's visit is too late Mike Johnson to run for vice chairman of House GOP conference MORE (R-N.C.) now holds the leadership position. 

“As we head into the final stretch of this fateful campaign cycle our singular focus is to secure a decisive victory for all our members in November and take back the majority,” Johnson wrote in the email. 

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“Even so, this is the time near the end of each Congress where we are also required to make prayerful decisions about where we might offer to serve the cause and the conference in the next session.

"After much deliberation and with the encouragement of so many of you, I wanted to send this note to announce my intention to be a candidate for Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference later this year when that post is left open by the departure of our good friend Mark Walker.”

Johnson — who practiced constitutional law before being elected to the House — wrote that he’s optimistic about the GOP's chances of taking back the House majority but that either way Republicans will be “engaged in a philosophical and political battle for the ages” over the course of the next Congress. 

“The vice chairman role in the 117th Congress will very critical and will require a workhorse who can help chart our direction, engage every conference member, support the leadership team, and advance our Republican policy agenda,” he continued in the letter. 

“The strength and the future of our great nation will depend on our ability to stand together and achieve real results. I am ready for that challenge. I hope I earn your support, and I look forward to discussing my specific plans and priorities in detail with all of you at the appropriate time.” 

Johnson, who is in his second term, has seen his profile rise quickly since first being elected in 2016. He succeeded Walker as Republican Study Committee chairman, a position that has served as a springboard into leadership positions and higher office.

The Louisiana Republican is the first to throw his name in the race for the vice chairman role.