Integrity: She's The Third Ranking Republican, So Why Doesn't Elise Stefanik Want To Run For Whip?

By Gil Cohen | Saturday, 28 May 2022 15:45
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Many politicians win office and promise they are not looking ahead but a year or two later end up forgetting they already were elected to an office and throw their hat in the ring for something 'bogger'. Often it is the constituents who get screwed and the seat usually flips. Elise Stefanik is making sure to keep her options open for 2024 and that is only lifting her already rising star.

Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican, has claimed she is leaning against running for the Majority whip, a leadership position that would be vacant if House Republicans win the majority and which several other GOP members are seeking, four sources verified to the Washington Examiner.

Two senior GOP sources said that Stefanik, the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, has been keeping her options open in terms of advancing in the party leadership ranks. The upstate New York congresswoman is also being targeted by those in the orbit of former President Donald Trump as his running mate if he makes a 2024 White House comeback bid. Stefanik's refusal to take the whip job or run for it when the GOP win back the House in November is being viewed as a class act by many as it shows her integrity for following through on commitments.

The majority whip role would empty if House Republicans win control in November, an effort demanding acquiring five seats in the 435-member chamber at a time when President Joe Biden’s approval ratings continue to decline amid persistently high inflation, spiking gas prices, and a range of other problems. In a House Republican majority, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would probably become the speaker, and Rep. Steve Scalise, who is now the minority whip, would move up to majority leader.

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That would leave the whip position available, and the race is expected to be full. Top contenders being floated include Chief Deputy Whip Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks, and the head of the House GOP campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Tom Emmer.

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Stefanik’s communications director, Ali Black, said the congresswoman’s sole focus at this point is helping Republicans win the House majority and ousting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) from the chamber’s top job.

“Congresswoman Stefanik is focused on serving as House Republican Conference chair as the chief messaging and communications strategist for what is looking to be a red tsunami in the House,” Black said. “She is committed to working her hardest in the #3 slots through Election Day to ensure we fire Nancy Pelosi once and for all. She is encouraged by the positive outpouring of support and encouragement from her colleagues for future opportunities in the House. She never takes any election for granted, and she will not be making any announcements about future positions until after ensuring Republicans win big this November to save America.”

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Stefanik became the House Republican Conference’s leader in May 2021, replacing Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who was removed from the leadership over her criticisms of Trump. At the time, Stefanik vowed to be in the leadership position for one term. But one GOP lawmaker confirmed that Stefanik has spoken about potentially seeking another term in the role.

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A GOP strategist said no post-election day decisions had been made.

“Elise is in the top tier for whip. Period,” the person said. “Anyone who says otherwise is wishing her away because they fear how effective she is. She is smart to hold her cards close and focus on her job at hand leading the conference, while others are measuring the drapes.”

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