McCarthy Backs Sessions in NRCC Fight

Posted November 10, 2008 at 11:08am

Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), who is running for chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, is set to pick up a key supporter in the form of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), according to a well-placed GOP source.

McCarthy had been talked about as a possible candidate for NRCC chairman, and currently sits on the committee’s executive board. Sessions is challenging current NRCC Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.), who is seeking a second term as head of the committee for the 2010 election cycle.

This GOP source said one of Sessions’ chief selling points is his demonstrated ability to raise money, and the perception among many in the House Republican Conference that Cole underperformed on that front. Sessions ran for NRCC chairman in 2006, ultimately losing out to Cole.

“People moved toward Cole [in the 2006 leadership election] because they thought he was a better strategist,” this GOP source said. “But they found out that if [the NRCC] has no money, it can’t implement strategy.”

Cole is a political consultant by trade.

McCarthy’s main goal in next week’s leadership elections is working to elect Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to the Minority Whip position.

McCarthy and Cantor worked closely together this past cycle as co-founders along with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) of the Young Guns fundraising and infrastructure program for House GOP candidates.

McCarthy is believed to still be interested in running the NRCC at some point in the future.