WSJ – As Republicans grapple with how to adjust their party’s long-term strategy in the aftermath of last week’s election losses, an immediate choice facing the party could provide an early signal on which way it is headed.
House Republicans vote Wednesday on their leaders for the next two years. Most of the top slots are all but assured, including Ohio Rep. John Boehner’s re-election as speaker. But a hard-fought contest is brewing between Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Tom Price of Georgia for the fourth-most-senior position.
The two lawmakers are seeking the job of conference chairman, whose job is to shape the Republican message and run House GOP meetings.
Mr. Price, 58 years old, is a former chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a powerful group of House conservatives who often pull the party’s leadership to the right. First elected in 2004, he emerged from the party’s longstanding power base.
Ms. McMorris Rodgers, 43, also is conservative. But as a young mother from the Northwest, she fits a profile that is rarer for the GOP and that House members might find appealing after an election in which the party struggled to attract female voters.