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Such a matchup would pit Blunt, an establishment Republican who previously served as Majority Whip and Majority Leader during his many years in the House, against Johnson, a GOP Member more steeped in the tea party. Johnson is serving in his first term in elected office of any kind. Both were elected to the Senate last year.
“Sen. Blunt is considering how he can best contribute to next year’s debate regarding who we are going to be as a country,” said Amber Marchand, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Republican. “He has received a lot of encouragement from his colleagues in the Senate and is taking a look at the Conference vice chair race.”
The position of GOP Conference vice chairman is set to open in January when Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) steps down from leadership. GOP Policy Committee Chairman John Thune (S.D.) has announced plans to run for Alexander’s post, with current Conference Vice Chairman John Barrasso (Wyo.) set to run for Thune’s post.