Liz Cheney Announces Run for Republican Conference Chair

Current conference chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has not yet announced plans

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., holds the door for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., as they arrive to hold a news conference following a House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol in March 20. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Freshman Rep. Liz Cheney announced in a letter to her colleagues Wednesday that she is running to chair the House Republican Conference, likely setting up a contested race for what will be the No. 3 position in GOP leadership next year.

Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the current conference chairwoman, has not formally announced her plans yet, but she’s expected to run again for the post.

Cheney of Wyoming cited the need to “fundamentally overhaul” Republicans’ messaging operation as the reason she is seeking the post.

“We need to be able to drive our message across all platforms,” she said. “We need to own the daily news cycles. We need to lead and win the messaging wars. Too often we have found ourselves playing catch up without access to useful information, and we have not been on offense. Constantly playing defense in the battle of communications is a recipe for failure. We need to work as a team to use all our messaging tools to drive our agenda.”

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker, the outgoing chairman of the Republican Study Committee, has been informing colleagues Wednesday morning that he is running for conference vice chair, his spokesman said.

House Republicans will hold their leadership elections Nov. 14.

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