Eric Cantor's Path to Speaker's Job Opens Up

Image: Eric Cantor's Path to Speaker's Job Opens Up

Saturday, 25 Jan 2014 06:50 PM

By Todd Beamon

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor could succeed John Boehner as the next Speaker now that Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has said he's not interested in the job.

But any speculation on whether Cantor, 50, who has represented Virginia since 2011, will replace Boehner is premature, The Hill reports.

Boehner, the 64-year-old Ohio Republican, has given no indication of retiring from the post he has held for three years.

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An informal survey of House Republicans by the Hill recently found that Ryan was the only colleague who could defeat Cantor for the job.

But Ryan, 43, who represents Wisconsin and was the 2012 vice presidential candidate, said this week that he was not interested in the position.

He would rather, however, serve as Ways and Means Committee chairman next year, as the GOP is expected to retain control of the House after the November elections.

Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College in California, told the Hill that Cantor had several attributes working in his favor should the speakership soon become available.

They include: "Having been a member of the leadership for several years now, establishing national name identification, being able to raise money, showing that he can excel at both the inside game and the outside game," Pitney said.

Cantor's office declined to comment to the Hill.

Other House members mentioned as potential speaker candidates, according to the Hill, included Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, Tom Price of Georgia, and Tom Cole of Oklahoma.

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