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Updated: 2:03 p.m.

Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.) on Tuesday announced his intention to run for the Republican Conference vice chairman post vacated by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska).

Barrasso, who has the backing of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), has played an integral role in the GOP opposition to the new health care reform law and is not expected to face any meaningful opposition for the fifth-ranking Senate GOP leadership position — if he has any competition at all.

The Republican Conference election for the position will be held Wednesday.

“People in Wyoming and across the country want to know the folks representing them in Washington are listening and understand their values,” Barrasso said in a statement released by his office. “It is loud and clear — Americans are tired of a government that spends too much, borrows too much and grows bigger every day.”

“I am running for Vice Chairman because we must fight even harder against Washington’s wasteful spending and intrusion into our lives,” Barrasso added.

Murkowski, who lost her GOP primary to Joe Miller, resigned the post after deciding to oppose Miller in the general election as an independent Republican write-in candidate.

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