Texans taking reins of GOP's re-election efforts

Fort Worth Star-TelegramNovember 17, 2008 

Sen. John Cornyn is up for election again Tueday but the vote for leaders by Senate Republicans will be a breeze for Texas' newly re-elected junior senator.

Cornyn is uncontested to be the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, putting him in charge of re-election prospects for the GOP in 2010. The Republicans will be defending 19 Senate seats in 2010 and the Democrats 15. That, of course, doesn't include the seat that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, is expected to vacate come spring.

Meanwhile, on the House side Rep. Pete Sessions of Dallas is challenging Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., for the chairmanship of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Cole presided over the disastrous 2008 results for the GOP and has lost the support of House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who is very publicly backing Sessions.

Another Texan, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, is mounting what he calls an "uphill climb" to become policy chairman for the House Republican Conference. The current policy chair, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, has Boehner's support. "It's tough to run against your leader when he's opposed to your candidacy," said Burgess. The House leadership elections are Wednesday.

But Burgess did get some good news Monday. In the office lottery, he'll get bigger digs come January, moving from Longworth to the Cannon House Office Building.

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