North Carolina Republican Patrick McHenry will become the chief deputy whip in the House of Representatives, elevating a second Southern Republican to leadership in as many weeks.
McHenry, a close ally of House Speaker John Boehner, was chosen for the job by incoming Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana. Scalise had campaigned in part on the need for more "red state" lawmakers in House leadership, where the current top four leaders all come from states that voted for Barack Obama for president in 2012.
McHenry said in a statement he was "humbled and honored" to be chosen for the post. He said he will "support a conservative, pro-growth agenda that will improve our economy, create jobs and help middle-class families."
House leadership elections were triggered when Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia lost his primary election to tea party challenger Dave Brat June 10. Cantor said he would step down from his leadership position at the end of July.
Republicans elevated Kevin McCarthy of California, currently the whip, to majority leader and Scalise to replace McCarthy. The whip’s job is to round up, or "whip," support for the leadership's agenda.
The moves mean the current chief deputy whip, Peter Roskam of Illinois, will lose his leadership position. Roskam was defeated in a three-way race for whip with Scalise and Marlin Stutzman of Indiana.
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