In a surprise last-minute announcement, Representative Chip Roy (R-Texas) has announced his intentions to run for the vacant position of Chair of the House GOP Conference, according to Fox News.
The position has been open since Wednesday, when the Republican caucus of the House of Representatives voted to remove Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from the position due to her nonstop attacks on former President Donald Trump. The frontrunner for the position is Representative Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), who has the backing of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), and former President Trump himself.
Stefanik and Roy, the only two confirmed candidates for the seat, each addressed their colleagues Thursday night during a candidate forum, making their respective pitches for the position. The final vote, which will be held behind closed doors, is taking place sometime today.
Prior to the Thursday night forum, Roy expressed his concern that the process was being “rushed…for the sake of doing it,” and that there was not “enough time for people to, you know, decide if they want to run and get into the mix and so forth.” But with the shortened timetable and no one else announcing their candidacy, Roy decided that “if we’re going to have the vote tomorrow, then I’m running.”
President Trump, on his new communication platform, expressed his doubts about Roy, saying that he “can’t imagine Republican House members would go with Chip Roy – he has not done a great job, and will probably be successfully primaried in his own district.” President Trump reiterated his support for Stefanik, who served on his defense team in the Senate trial during his first impeachment.
Despite a voting record that includes several votes against President Trump’s agenda, including on such matters as immigration and tax cuts, Stefanik has become much more vocally supportive of the former president in recent years. She voted to object to the certification of the electoral votes from Pennsylvania in the 2020 election, after overwhelming evidence emerged of widespread voter fraud in the state, as well as multiple other swing states, which most likely altered the final outcome of the race.