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House GOP: Leadership Race Winners and Losers

If you somehow missed the news this afternoon, Rep. John Boehner (Ohio) pulled an upset in the House majority leader race, knocking off Roy Blunt (Mo.) and John Shadegg (Ariz.). Adam Putnam (Fla.) won the GOP Policy Chair contest.

The Fix checked in with a group of GOP aides and strategists following today's House Republican leadership elections to identify some of the less obvious winners and losers in the majority caucus.

Winners

Ohio Rep. Pat Tiberi: Any time a member of your state delegation wins a contested leadership race, benefits will accrue. One GOPer I talked to called Tiberi the "worker bee" of the state's delegation. Tiberi worked in the trenches for Boehner throughout the process. A pretty junior House member, but he did whatever was asked of him.

Louisiana Rep. Jim McCrery: McCrery took a major gamble by supporting Boehner, as backing the wrong horse probably would have cost him the Ways and Means Committee chairmanship when Rep. Bill Thomas (Calif.) is term-limited out of the post after this Congress.  Boehner's victory strengthens McCrery's status as the frontrunner for the powerful chairmanship come 2007.

Iowa Rep. Tom Latham: Latham is Boehner's closest friend in the House and one of his three closest friends in Congress -- Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.) and Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) are the others. A tight relationship with the new leader won't hurt Latham's future in the House.

Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson: A legislator who understands the inside game and showed he would do anything for Boehner during the course of the race.

Michigan Rep. Thad McCotter: An unknown coming into the race for the policy chairmanship post,  McCotter made a name for himself with his -- at first off-putting -- political wonkiness.  McCotter went on to make a strong second place showing in the GOP Policy Chair race and looks to be an up and comer in the Boehner regime.

Reps. Melissa Hart (Pa.)/Jon Porter (Nev.)/ Charles Boustany (La.): All three junior lawmakers were either early or key cogs in the Boehner machine and will reap the rewards.

Losers

Rep. Clay Shaw (Fla.): Shaw gambled and lost.  He and McCrery were considered the two frontrunners for Ways and Means in 2007.  There now seems little doubt who will get the gavel.

Rep. Wayne Gilchrist (Md.): After initially supporting Boehner, Gilchrist jumped to Blunt at the 11th hour -- a decision he will likely regret in the weeks and months to come.

Rep. Joe Barton (Texas): Barton was entrusted with delivering the massive Texas delegation to Blunt. Whether or not he did it (the vote was by secret ballot), his guy came up short, and his allegiance to Blunt will not be forgotten any time soon by those in Boehner's inner circle.

Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.): Unlike the other members on the "loser" list, Cantor loses largely by circumstance. The Blunt loss meant there was no race for majority whip -- a contest the Virginia member was expected to win.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 2, 2006; 5:29 PM ET
Categories:  House , Republican Party  
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