Shadegg: Not So Fast, Mr. Blunt

Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.), a candidate for House majority leader, today dismissed Rep. Roy Blunt’s (R.-Mo.) claim that he had secured enough votes for the job.

"The purpose of my entering the race for Majority Leader is to force a full-blown debate on the need for reform. That debate has barely begun," Shadegg said.

As of yesterday afternoon, National Journal’s Hotline was reporting that Blunt had 82 public commitments, Rep. John Boehner (R.-Ohio) had 41 and Shadegg had two.

Shadegg entered the race for majority leader Friday — nearly a week after Blunt and Boehner — and he claims to have already secured commitments from previously committed Blunt supporters.

"I have been in this race only one day," Shadegg said. "We already have defections from the Blunt list and we expect more. Vote counts in this sort of race are notoriously inaccurate. I am in this race to the finish."

Shadegg resigned from his position as Republican Policy Committee chairman upon entering the race. He has subtly hinted that Blunt should do the same. Boehner called on Blunt to step down Saturday.