National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions announced Monday he will seek another term as the leader of the party’s House campaign arm.
Sessions’ decision comes nearly a week after the midterm elections, in which Republicans racked up a net gain of more than 60 seats and took back the House of Representatives.
The Texas Republican said in a statement he had completed his mission to “Retire Speaker Nancy Pelosi” and now wanted to defend the gains Republicans made in the midterm elections.
“I look forward to leading our new majority through the challenges of re-electing nearly 80 freshman Republican Members, navigating congressional re-districting, and maximizing a presidential election cycle,” he said. “Additionally, I look forward to leading our new Majority through an expanded policy leadership role that will enable me to shape and promote the Republican agenda among Members and across America.”
Sessions’ announcement ends speculation he would challenge Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for the Majority Whip position in the 112th Congress. McCarthy told Roll Call in an interview last week he had secured “north of 160” commitments in support for his bid.
The House Republican Conference will formally elect their new leadership team Nov. 17.
Sessions will also lead the GOP’s “New Member Development” program, Minority Leader John Boehner said in a statement.
“Pete’s position on the Rules Committee gives him a unique vantage point to help our new members navigate policy issues, and his many friendships across the Capitol will help in introducing our new colleagues to the Senate,” the Ohio Republican said.
While no one has come forward to challenge Sessions for the NRCC chairmanship, he is the first Member to receive Boehner’s public support for a leadership bid.
“Our Republican Conference needs Pete Sessions’ steady hand of leadership next Congress, and I am very pleased that he has decided to seek another term as NRCC Chairman,” Boehner said.
In the Senate, Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) is also likely to remain in place as the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman.
Keeping campaign chairmen in position following big gains is not unusual. Following their sweep of Congress in 2006, Democrats also kept their campaign chairmen in place for a second term.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., takes a selfie with his cut-out head during the Hoops for Youth 16th annual charity basketball game held at George Washington University's Smith Center, September 8, 2014. The members of Congress team beat the lobbyist team 46-40. Buy photo here.