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Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions

The House of Representatives is always full of ambitious politicians, young and old — and many are looking for a promotion this cycle.

Conservative Rep. Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - World mourns the death of Prince Philip The Hill's Morning Report - Biden assails 'epidemic' of gun violence amid SC, Texas shootings Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (R-Ala.) will launch a bid for the Senate on Monday. In Missouri, a quartet of House Republicans are all exploring a bid for the seat held by retiring GOP Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week Greitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP MORE. And at least five House Democrats are eyeing a possible Senate bid to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeySasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Philly GOP commissioner on censures: 'I would suggest they censure Republican elected officials who are lying' Toomey censured by several Pennsylvania county GOP committees over impeachment vote MORE in Pennsylvania.  

Allies of Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffOvernight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats hearing MORE (D-Calif.) are aggressively lobbying Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia Democrats weigh their recall options California opens vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and up California races to get ahead of another bad fire season MORE to appoint the Intelligence Committee chairman as attorney general of the most populous state. Democratic Reps. Greg StantonGregory (Greg) John StantonThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Back to the future on immigration, Afghanistan, Iran Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions Energy Department announces million toward carbon capture, industrial assessment centers MORE and Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoWhite House reverses course on refugee cap after Democratic eruption Democrats battle over best path for Puerto Rico McCarthy asks FBI, CIA for briefing after two men on terror watchlist stopped at border MORE are being encouraged to run for Arizona governor. Rep. Warren DavidsonWarren Earl DavidsonBoehner finally calls it as he sees it The Hill's Morning Report - Biden: Back to the future on immigration, Afghanistan, Iran Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions MORE (R-Ohio) is mulling a GOP primary challenge against Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineOhio law legalizing concealed knife carry, brass knuckles goes into effect The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Congress returns; infrastructure takes center stage Biden resists calls to give hard-hit states more vaccines than others MORE.

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And that's just a fraction of the House members contemplating a bid for the Senate, governor’s mansion or other statewide office. Of course, not everyone will ultimately run, but the lower chamber has often proved to be a good stepping-stone to higher office.

“It’s the nature of the beast,” said Rep. Bennie ThompsonBennie Gordon Thompson10 Democrats join NAACP lawsuit against Trump Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions Lawmakers roll out bill to protect critical infrastructure after Florida water hack MORE (D-Miss.), who has served in the House since 1993 and has seen dozens of his colleagues run for the Senate, governor or president.

A spate of retirement announcements in the Senate has set off a scramble among House lawmakers looking for their next move. In Missouri, four House Republicans — Reps. Ann WagnerAnn Louise WagnerGreitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP GOP seeks new line of attack on Biden economic plans Trump pollster: Greitens leads big in Missouri GOP Senate primary MORE, Vicky HartzlerVicky Jo HartzlerGreitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP The Navy's reading program undermines America's security Missouri Senate candidate Eric Greitens tangles with Hugh Hewitt in testy interview MORE, Jason SmithJason Thomas SmithGreitens Senate bid creates headache for GOP White House delays release of budget plan Trump pollster: Greitens leads big in Missouri GOP Senate primary MORE and Billy LongWilliam (Billy) H. LongTwitter CEO pokes fun at Congress's hearing questions with 'yes or no' poll Missouri Senate candidate Eric Greitens tangles with Hugh Hewitt in testy interview Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions MORE — are weighing potential bids to replace Blunt, who rose to House majority whip before winning his Senate seat in 2010.

“There’s a bunch of us in Missouri looking at it. We’re all friends … but you gotta look at it,” Wagner, who passed on a Senate bid in 2018, told The Hill. “My district is 34 percent of the GOP primary electorate so, of course, I’m very interested.

“Everyone knows I’ve had an interest in taking the work I’ve done in the House to the U.S. Senate, to fight back on this Biden agenda and get something done for Missouri. It would be just a great honor.”

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Long, a former auctioneer, said he’s “seriously considering” a Senate bid and won’t get in “just to be a stalking horse,” while Hartzler said she’s forming a Senate exploratory committee. Smith, a former member of GOP leadership and a good fundraiser, would be a strong candidate but he’s also in line to be Budget Committee chairman if Republicans flip the House next year.

In Pennsylvania, at least five House Democrats — Reps. Madeleine DeanMadeleine DeanAmbitious House lawmakers look for promotions DC bureau chief for The Intercept: Impeachment managers became 'like the dog who caught the car' when permitted to call witnesses Democrats dismiss claims they misrepresented evidence during impeachment trial MORE, Brendan Boyle, Conor Lamb Chrissy Houlahan and Susan WildSusan WildTime to prioritize the mental health of our frontline health care heroes Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions House Democrats push Biden's Pentagon pick on civilian control of military MORE — are testing the waters for a Senate bid following Toomey’s announcement he won’t seek a third term. Some are also looking at the wide-open race to succeed term-limited Gov. Tom WolfTom WolfAmbitious House lawmakers look for promotions Follow the science: Charter school expansion is a rising tide that lifts all boats The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Split screen: Biden sells stimulus; GOP highlights border MORE (D).

“Loving my work, keeping an open mind,” said Dean, who represents a suburban area outside of Philadelphia and served as one of the Democratic prosecutors in former President TrumpDonald TrumpDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Biden on refugee cap: 'We couldn't do two things at once' Taylor Greene defends 'America First' effort, pushes back on critics MORE’s impeachment trial this year.

In Ohio, Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanBusinessman Mike Gibbons jumps into GOP Senate race in Ohio Biden's gun control push poses danger for midterms Trump faces test of power with early endorsements MORE (D) has expressed interest in running to replace retiring GOP Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanKellyanne Conway joins Ohio Senate candidate's campaign OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate confirms Mallory to lead White House environment council | US emissions dropped 1.7 percent in 2019 | Interior further delays Trump rule that would make drillers pay less to feds Senate confirms Biden's pick to lead White House environmental council MORE, while Davidson, a staunch conservative who won Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerSunday shows preview: Russia, US exchange sanctions; tensions over policing rise; vaccination campaign continues The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Biden to Putin: Tough sanctions, straight talk Boehner on Afghanistan: 'It's time to pull out the troops' MORE’s seat after his 2015 retirement, said he may launch a primary challenge against the incumbent GOP governor over his handling of COVID-19 pandemic.    

“Frankly, I’m studying the governor’s race right now. If I take a pass on the governor’s race, then I’ll probably take a look at the Senate race in '24” against Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownWorld passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents Big bank CEOS to testify before Congress in May MORE (D-Ohio), Davidson told The Hill. 

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He’s contemplating a primary challenge against DeWine because he “couldn’t continue to disagree privately with the governor” over COVID-19 restrictions and gun control, Davidson said.

Before they make a decision on their future, many of these House lawmakers are gauging support, reaching out to political donors, local party activists and voters back home. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), the leader of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, said he’ll make a call “by the end of the month” about whether to challenge Sen. Mark KellyMark KellyWall Street spent .9B on campaigns, lobbying in 2020 election: study The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Schumer lays groundwork for future filibuster reform MORE (D-Ariz.), the former astronaut who just ousted a GOP incumbent in a special election in the fall. 

There is plenty of recent precedent of House lawmakers winning higher office. In 2018, Democrats Jared PolisJared Schutz PolisMLB All-Star Game officially moved to Denver Colorado governor extends state mask mandate by 1 month New York to expand vaccine eligibility to all on April 6 MORE, Tim WalzTim WalzObama on Daunte Wright: We need to reimagine policing The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - Biden, lawmakers start down a road with infrastructure Biden calls for peaceful protests after police shooting of Daunte Wright MORE and Michelle Lujan GrishamMichelle Lynn Lujan GrishamNew Mexico governor settles with former campaign aide over claim of unwanted sexual behavior New Mexico governor signs marijuana legalization bill New Mexico ends qualified immunity MORE — all former House members — were elected as the governors of Colorado, Minnesota and New Mexico, respectively. Former GOP Rep. Kristi NoemKristi Lynn NoemWest Virginia governor plans to sign bill restricting transgender athletes Noem pledges to not accept illegal immigrants: 'Call me when you're an American' Nikki Haley says if Trump runs for president in 2024 then she won't MORE won the governor’s race in South Dakota that same year; she’s now mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2024. 

And in 2020, with a bottleneck in the top echelon of the House Democratic leadership team, then-Assistant House Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) found success by winning a Senate seat.

Other younger, ambitious House Democrats with nowhere to go in the crowded leadership structure are also looking for other ways to rise. Schiff, the Democrats’ star impeachment manager in Trump’s 2020 Senate trial, had no comment about his reported interest in the California attorney general job. But Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiDemocrats debate timing and wisdom of reparations vote Biden angers Democrats by keeping Trump-era refugee cap Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones calls on Breyer to retire MORE (D-Calif.) has repeatedly lobbied Newsom to appoint her close ally to replace Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraNIH reverses Trump administration's ban on fetal tissue research Overnight Health Care: Johnson & Johnson delay prompts criticism of CDC panel | Pfizer CEO says third dose of COVID-19 vaccine 'likely' needed within one year | CDC finds less than 1 percent of fully vaccinated people got COVID-19 NIH to make announcement on fetal tissue research policy amid Trump-era restrictions MORE, who resigned as the state’s top cop after the Senate confirmed him as President BidenJoe BidenSuspect in FedEx shooting used two assault rifles he bought legally: police US, China say they are 'committed' to cooperating on climate change DC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is MORE’s Health and Human Services secretary.

The attorney general post has proved to be a launching pad. Becerra, a former House Democratic leader, ended up in the Biden Cabinet; his predecessor, Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisDC goes to the dogs — Major and Champ, that is Florida nurse arrested, accused of threatening to kill Harris Oddsmakers say Harris, not Biden, most likely to win 2024 nomination, election MORE, is now vice president.

And two other House Democrats recently joined the Biden cabinet: Marcia FudgeMarcia FudgeFudge on police shootings: Officers want to go home each night, and 'so do we' Julia Letlow sworn in as House member after winning election to replace late husband Working for lasting change MORE is Housing and Urban Development secretary and Deb HaalandDeb HaalandOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior says it isn't immediately reinstating coal leasing moratorium despite revoking Trump order | Haaland seeks to bolster environmental law targeted by Trump | Debate heats up over role of carbon offsets in Biden's 'net-zero' goal Haaland revokes a dozen Trump orders Haaland seeks to bolster environmental law targeted by Trump MORE made history as the first Native American Interior secretary.

In most cases, simply floating one’s name for higher office can help build a lawmaker’s political brand, but it can also carry risks. New York GOP Reps. Lee ZeldinLee ZeldinLawmakers launch bipartisan caucus on SALT deduction Biden funding decision inflames debate over textbooks for Palestinian refugees Rep. Lee Zeldin announces bid for New York governor MORE and Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHouse passes bill to combat gender pay gap Business groups oppose Paycheck Fairness Act, citing concerns it could threaten bonuses and negotiating Ambitious House lawmakers look for promotions MORE are being encouraged to challenge embattled Democratic Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoSectoral bargaining is bad for workers and the American economy New York Philharmonic gives first public performance in more than a year Ron Kim on nursing home immunity repeal: It was critical 'to hold these facilities accountable' MORE, who’s facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate touching.  

“We’re getting a lot of encouragement right now, and I’m not ruling anything out,” Stefanik said.

But on Friday, another possible Cuomo challenger who’s been raising his profile, Rep. Tom ReedTom ReedHouse panel opens probe into Tom Reed over sexual misconduct allegations Fitzpatrick replaces Tom Reed as House Problem Solvers co-chair These House lawmakers aren't seeking reelection in 2022 MORE (R-N.Y.), was accused by a former lobbyist of sexual misconduct. Reed called the allegations “not accurate.”

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Down in Florida, Democratic Rep. Charlie CristCharles (Charlie) Joseph CristUniversally panned '60 Minutes' hit piece on DeSantis just made him a 2024 frontrunner Biden clean electricity standard faces high hurdles House Democrats introduce carbon pricing measure MORE finds himself in a unique situation.

He served as the Republican governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011, then won a Tampa Bay House seat as a Democrat in 2016. He’s now seriously considering launching a 2022 bid against GOP Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisSunday shows preview: Russia, US exchange sanctions; tensions over policing rise; vaccination campaign continues American expats returning to US to get COVID-19 shots Oddsmakers say Harris, not Biden, most likely to win 2024 nomination, election MORE, himself a former House member. 

“I think Florida needs help. I’m concerned with the current leadership there. Florida is always in my heart and I care very deeply about it. Having served as attorney general and commissioner of education in the state, I’m just concerned about the state’s future and the current administration,” Crist said in an interview outside the House chamber. 

“It’s really a heart and soul decision. I enjoy serving here [in Congress] representing my hometown of St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay. But there is a real pull to seriously look at going back to Florida, if the people are willing, to help the state I love so much,” he said.