With more than a year to go before the 2006 elections, the competition to succeed Rep. Tom Reynolds (R.-N.Y.) as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee is already heating up. Rep. Phil English (R.-Pa.), a veteran of the “Class of ’94,” is considered the early front-runner for the NRCC helm, which Reynolds must relinquish after the 2006 elections. Both Pete Sessions (Tex.) and Tom Cole (Okla.), a former NRCC operating head, however, are also running hard for the post. All three candidates are considered conservatives.