Pence steps down
Despite the GOP taking control of the House, Rep. Mike Pence has stepped down from his leadership role to prep for his future:
Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) will step down from his position as chairman of the House Republican Conference, he announced on Wednesday.
Pence informed fellow House Republicans in a “Dear Colleague” letter that he would leave his third-ranking position within the House GOP to consider future opportunities — possibly a run for governor, or president.
“I am writing to inform you that, after much prayerful consideration, I have decided not to seek reelection as chairman of the House Republican Conference,” Pence said.
The open position will be the fourth-ranking job in the new House Republican leadership. GOP leader John Boehner (Ohio) will likely become Speaker, and Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) will likely become majority leader.
The Nos. 3 and 4 positions — majority whip and conference chairman — are likely to become the subject of intense jockeying by ambitious House Republicans.
Among the candidates for both jobs are National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas), Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Conference Vice Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), who said Tuesday that more than a dozen colleagues had encouraged her to seek Pence’s job.
Many commentators believe that Pence, who is widely viewed as one of the more well-known conservatives in the House caucus, is setting himself up for a run for president in 2012 or Governor of Indiana.