The largest statewide delegation of Republicans couldn’t propel two Texans to party leadership roles on Tuesday.
Rep. Roger Williams of Austin and Rep. Bill Flores of Bryan both thought they had the votes to win posts alongside House Speaker Paul Ryan, but lost to intra-party opposition.
Williams was gunning for National Republican Congressional Committee Chair, a position which oversees the campaign fundraising arm of the party, while Flores was contesting vice chair of the Republican Conference, a position which comes with a seat on the powerful steering committee.
During his campaign for NRCC chair, Williams emphasized reducing the amount of dues paid by Republican members out of their campaign funds, essentially lessening the fundraising burden for Republicans in Congress.
Supporters of Williams’ opponent, Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, emphasized gains made by Republicans in the House since 2010 and that lessening the dues paid by members would make it harder for the party to defeat Democrats in tough elections.
“Congratulations to Chairman Stivers,” Williams said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Chairman Stivers and Speaker Ryan on the important job of protecting and expanding our Republican majority to continue to move our country in the direction of lower taxes, less government and a strong national defense.”
Williams has a more conservative voting record than Stivers and earned the support of the American Conservative Union and the majority of Texas’ Congressional delegation, but he is under review by the Office of Congressional Ethics for using legislation to privately benefit himself and a car dealership he owns.
Notably, San Antonio Republican Will Hurd, who fended off Democrat Pete Gallego in the state’s only competitive race, nominated Stivers instead of Williams during the two hour-long meeting of all House Republicans.
“We ran an exciting campaign that earned a great amount of support, and I am thankful to all my colleagues who worked hard to spread our message,” Williams said.
Flores campaigned against Georgia Rep. Doug Collins for an open seat vacated by Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins.
“You win some, you lose some,” Flores said.
Ryan was nominated unanimously as Speaker-elect, as he did not receive a challenge to his leadership position by a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana, House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Luke Messer were all reelected without opposition.
House Republicans have one white woman and seven white men among its leadership after Tuesday’s election.
“Welcome to the dawn of a new unified Republican government,” Ryan declared at a news conference on Tuesday morning before the closed-door leadership elections. “It feels really good to say that, actually. This will be a government focused on turning President-elect Trump’s victory into real progress for the American people. Our team is very excited, and we cannot wait to get to work.”
Even though seven Texans currently chair committees and some are under consideration for cabinet positions in Donald Trump’s administration, the state does not have any members among senior leadership in the House.