Boehner Keeps Post; Cantor Is Whip

Posted November 19, 2008 at 11:04am

Updated: 1:15 p.m.

House Republicans on Wednesday voted to reshuffle their leadership for the 111th Congress, with Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio) keeping his post and Rep. Eric Cantor (Va.) taking over as Minority Whip, succeeding Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.).

Boehner easily defeated his only challenger, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.). Lungren has been seen largely as a token candidate trying to keep Boehner from getting a free pass after November’s crushing elections.

The closed-door meeting produced few surprises.

Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.) will serve as Republican Conference chairman.

Pence is taking over the post from Rep. Adam Putnam (Fla.), who bowed out as Conference chairman on election night.

Also Wednesday, House Republicans tapped Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) to serve as vice chairwoman of the Conference, and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.) as chairman of the Policy Committee. McCotter beat back rival Rep. Michael Burgess (Texas) to keep the policy job.

Meanwhile, Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas) claimed the gavel of the National Republican Congressional Committee for the 2010 cycle after current Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) unexpectedly withdrew from the race. Sessions had the heavy backing of Boehner heading into today’s leadership elections.