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Northwest Lawmakers Likely Not In Running For House Majority Position

Susan Walsh
AP Photo
File image of Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.

The surprising upset for House Majority leader Eric Cantor has the GOP looking for a possible successor.

Pundits are already throwing a few names around as possible replacements, including two Northwest lawmakers who have prominent roles in the House Republican leadership. But neither is likely to seek a promotion.

Washington’s Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress and helps run the House GOP caucus.

Greg Walden is Oregon's only Republican member of Congress. He easily turned aside a Tea Party challenger in last month's primary. And he's the head of the House Republicans' election committee.

But neither McMorris Rodgers nor Walden has expressed interest in succeeding Cantor as House majority leader.

Political analyst Bill Lunch isn’t surprised. He says they’d have a tough time getting selected in a U.S. House that’s leaning more to the political right.

"Both Walden and McMorris Rodgers are, by the standards that we now use, not historic standards, fairly moderate Republicans," Lunch said.

Lunch says the two lawmakers have another mark against them: They’re from a part of the country that isn’t known for producing strong Republican leaders.

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.