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Shadegg Gains Momentum in Leader’s Race

With little more than a week to go before House Republicans elect a successor to Rep. Tom DeLay (R.-Tex) as their majority leader, Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona gained major momentum.  In just the last 24 hours, the House Policy Committee chairman and favorite of conservative activists won the nomination of four colleagues—two of whom are not exactly considered conservatives of the Shadegg-Newt Gingrich stripe.

Yesterday, Rep. Charles Bass (R.-NH), a well-known moderate GOPer, weighed in for Shadegg for leader in the contest against Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Rep. John Boehner (Oh.).  “I want moderate Republicans to understand that if you care about reform and you want a fresh face, this is the man to support,” said Bass, son of former Rep. (1958-62) Perkins “Small Mouth” Bass (R.-N.H.) and himself a supporter of abortion and statist campaign finance reform.  Bass was subsequently joined in endorsing Shadegg by Rep. Curt Weldon (R.-Pa.)—more conservative than Bass but certainly not as much as Shadegg, who opposed the Bush White House on the ’03 prescription drug package and “No Child Left  Behind” education package.

Shadegg’s fellow Arizonan, Rep. Jeff Flake, also endorsed him yesterday.  Today, Reps. Frank Wolf (Va.) and Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) also came out for Shadegg—Hoekstra’s endorsement being a particular surprise, as almost the entire Michigan delegation of House Republicans had ben expected to be for fellow Midwesterner Boehner.

The support of conservative Shadegg by non-conservatives is reminiscent to some of the way moderates backed Rep. Newt Gingrich (R.-GA) for Republican Whip in 1989, when incumbent Whip and then-Rep. Dick Cheney (R.-Wyo.) resigned to become secretary of defense.  Although Gingrich was clearly to the right of his opponent, the late Republican Rep. Edward Madigan of Illinois, moderates such as then-Rep. Olympia Snowe (Maine) and present Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (NY) supported the Georgian because they felt he would be a more aggressive leader and put a fresh face on the Republican Party.  Gingrich won in a cliff-hanger by a vote of 87-to-85. 

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John Gizzi has come to be known as â??the man who knows everyone in Washingtonâ? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on whatâ??s going on in the nationâ??s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as â??Gizzi on Politicsâ? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of â??Gizziâ??s America,â? video interviews that appear on HumanEvents.com. Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. Johnâ??s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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