Speculation Over Who Will Lead the National Republican Congressional Committee

Speculation over who will head the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is intensifying as Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas prepares for his tenure to come to an end.

Newsmax reports that Oregon Rep. Greg Walden is the front-runner but Politico says that Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole is beginning to close that gap.  When asked by Politico if he is interested in the position, Cole replied, “I haven’t given anything any thought.” When pressed as to whether that means he has no interest in the job, Walden responded, “I didn’t say that. I just haven’t really thought about it.”

Walden is already serving as deputy chairman of the NRCC and is also chairman of the House Republican leadership team.  He also enjoys a closer relationship with Boehner than does Cole.  Walden informed Politico that he’s focused on helping the GOP maintain control of the House in this year’s elections. “There will be a time and a place to make a decision on what happens after that, so I’m avoiding that discussion completely,” he said.

However, the Young Guns program of the NRCC has placed 2nd Congressional District candidate Eric Weissmann on its “On the Radar” list.  Young Guns drafts and provides sustenance to candidates who are selected for and then ascend through the program based on whether or not they meet organizational and fundraising criteria. The Young Guns program was established by Reps. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Paul Ryan (R-WI).

Last week, Weissmann won a court ruling to get on the ballot for the June 26 primary.  He will be running against state Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) and then the victor will take on US Rep Jared Polis.  Sessions affirms that he is “looking forward to working with Eric Weissmann, who has already proven himself by meeting rigorous benchmarks in the ‘Young Guns’ program that will position his campaign for victory.”  Sessions went on to add that, “Eric Weissmann’s dedication and experience enables him to advocate effectively for pro-growth policies and fight the failed status quo in Washington. This will stand in stark contrast to the Obama-Pelosi record of spending, borrowing and taxing that Colorado families and small businesses know has failed.”

There are others contending for the title, such as Georgia Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, freshmen Steve Stivers from Ohio and Tim Griffin from Arkansas.

-Candice Lanier