The Brief: Top Texas News for Sept. 14, 2012

Texas delegate checks out the floor of  the convention space before events begin at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday August 29, 2012 on the third day of the Republican National Convention events.
Texas delegate checks out the floor of the convention space before events begin at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday August 29, 2012 on the third day of the Republican National Convention events.

The Big Conversation:

Given the reliable political and financial support Republicans receive from Texas, the state with the largest GOP delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives, how many top party leaders in the House might you expect to hail from the Lone Star State?

If you said zero, you may soon be right!

According to a report from Politico, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner will meet with U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas, today about that circumstances that could keep Texans out of the top leadership slots in the next Congress.

Sessions is currently finishing up his second term as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, at which point the position typically rotates to someone else. He wants to chair the House's powerful Rules Committee, but Politico reports that Boehner appears to have someone else in mind.

At the same time, other Texas lawmakers — U.S Rep. John Carter of Round Rock, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Dallas and U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith of San Antonio — are also cycling out of key positions. There are a number of Texas representatives who are too junior for the top slots, and some of the state's more senior members either don't chair committees or — like U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Surfside — are retiring.

On Wednesday, Sessions seemed to express interest in taking matters into his own hands with a run for a third term at the helm the NRCC. Many observers speculated that the comments were primarily meant to put pressure on the Speaker, and a spokeswoman for Sessions said they had been made "in jest."

The Dallas Morning News reported on Thursday that Sessions had, indeed, backed off of the third term idea and issued a statement expressing his support for his NRCC deputy, U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon.

Where does that leave Texas Republicans? 

Those that are concerned about this sort of thing can take comfort in the words of U.S. Rep. Carter, who believes Texans will maintain a presence in the upper echelons of the party.

"I’m not concerned about Sessions," he told Politico. "I think he’s going to be fine. I think he’s going to get what he wants."

Culled:

  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has hired Jesse Benton, who ran U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's presidential campaign this year, to lead his 2014 re-election campaign. Benton, the husband of one of Paul's granddaughters, also led the successful 2010 Senate campaign of Rand Paul, the congressman's son, in Kentucky.
  • The San Antonio Express-News has a look at the newest ads in the heated San Antonio-based congressional race between incumbent Republican Francisco "Quico" Canseco and state Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine. The race, one of the most competitive in the state, has already attracted millions of dollars in spending from both the candidates and their parties.

From the National Republican Campaign Committee:

From the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee:

"They’ve never given Ron Paul a fair shot, and I’m disgusted with that. I’d like to show them how disgusted I am." — Melinda Wadsley, one of three Ron Paul-backing Electoral College members who they may not vote for Mitt Romney in December

Must-Read:

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