House Republicans: Three-Way Race for Whip
Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers has decided to run for majority whip, according to a source close to the congressman. The move throws a roadblock into what looked like an easy victory for Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor.
Rogers is expected to announce his bid this afternoon. A former FBI agent, Rogers will run a race centered on "accountability and trust," said the source. He will also cast himself as the only real option for change in the leadership races given that Cantor as well as Reps. Roy Blunt (Mo.) and John Boehner (Ohio) are either currently in the GOP leadership or formerly served in the leadership.
Kansas Rep. Todd Tiahrt is also expected to enter the whip race this afternoon although his office would not confirm his intentions to The Fix.
The candidacies of Rogers and Tiahrt come even as Cantor allies claim he is nearing the 117 commitments necessary to sew up the contest. Cantor has worked the phones for nearly three days straight in an attempt to end the race before any other candidate formally emerges.
The next several days will be crucial for Rogers and Tiahrt to see if either can gain traction against Cantor. Both face uphill bids given Cantor's head start.
Keep in mind that Blunt has said he plans to stay on as majority whip if he loses his bid against Boehner for majority leader. With a three-way race going on to succeed him, it may make it increasingly difficult for Blunt to simply use the whip slot as a fall-back position.
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