The Gentleman from Georgia’s Ninth Congressional District is beginning to make waves in Washington. Congressman Tom Graves (R-GA-9) has cleared a fairly large hurdle in his quest to become the next chairman of the Republican Study Committee in the House. He has received the endorsement of the organization’s founders according to the Politico. Congressman Graves faces Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana for the RSC’s top spot. Although Graves has the backing of the RSC founders, Scalise could still win when the 200+ members of the Committee vote during the lame-duck session of Congress. Speaking of inside baseball politics:
It’s one of the most unique — and clubby — aspects of House Republican politics: the founding members and former chairmen of the in-house conservative group interview the candidates vying for the organization’s chairmanship and recommend their choice for a full RSC vote.
A member of Georgia’s congressional delegation was also chairman of the group: Congressman Tom Price (R-GA-6), so there may be some influence…of course, there may not be. There are apparently two “true founders” of the group, but one is retiring:
Reps. Sam Johnson of Texas and Dan Burton of Indiana are the only two true founders of the group remaining in Congress. Former chairmen that are permitted to cast ballots include Reps. Mike Pence of Indiana, Tom Price of Georgia, Sue Myrick of North Carolina, and Jeb Hensarling of Texas. Jordan also gets a vote.
Pence, Myrick and Burton will be ineligible to vote when the nomination goes to the full RSC — Myrick and Burton are retiring, and Pence is running for governor of Indiana, and giving up his House seat.
So, with those three members retiring and the presumptive support of Congressman Johnson, it will be interesting to see if 1.) Congressman Graves gets the support needed from the former chairmen and 2.) if the members of the Republican Study Committee actually heed the recommendation of the founders and former chairmen.
Just call this the post-season of political inside baseball.