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Roy won't rule out challenging Stefanik for GOP House Conference seat

Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyThe Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week Roy introduces bill blocking Chinese Communist Party members from buying US land Massie, Greene trash mask violation warnings from House sergeant at arms MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday afternoon did not rule out running for the GOP leadership position left vacant by Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyDemocrat Matt Putorti challenges Stefanik for NY House seat Juan Williams: GOP preparing the ground to steal an election Biden fails to break GOP 'fever' MORE (R-Wyo.).

The conservative rising star was asked about his ambitions to be the next House Republican Conference chair just hours after the GOP voted overwhelmingly to oust Cheney from the House leadership role for her constant refusal to agree with the debunked assertion by former President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE that the presidential election was stolen from him.

"We're here to talk about other topics but I will say this, [Rep. Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikDemocrat Matt Putorti challenges Stefanik for NY House seat Recovering America through the lens of wildlife Former Trump aide eyeing New Hampshire congressional bid MORE (R-N.Y.)] should have an opponent,” Roy answered at a press conference where legislation opposing critical race theory was introduced.

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Stefanik, one of the youngest members of Congress and one whose GOP stardom rose during Trump’s first impeachment trial, is widely seen as the front-runner to replace Cheney.

“I don't believe there should be a coronation,” Roy told reporters after the press conference was finished. “I believe that if the [House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust Pelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement MORE (Calif.)] wants us to be united, then he should take the time to do this the right way.”

Roy and other more conservative members of the caucus have signaled that they believe Stefanik too liberal to hold the party’s No. 3 position in the House.

Multiple reports surfaced Wednesday that the Texas lawmaker has his sights on challenging Stefanik for the role.

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Stefanik seemed unfazed by the possibility of Roy or any other House Republican stepping up to run against her, noting support from the Freedom Caucus and the Republican Study Committee.

"We have a great support conference-wide," Stefanik told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

The opening left by Cheney represents an ongoing power struggle in the GOP, as Republicans grapple over whether Trump is still the leader of their party.

After her removal, Cheney made it clear that she doesn’t think that the former president should reprise his candidacy in 2024.

“I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” Cheney said after the vote Wednesday morning.

Scott Wong and Mike Lillis contributed to this report, which was updated at 3:56 p.m.