House Republicans split the difference in yesterday’s Majority Leader election, choosing neither acting-Leader Roy Blunt (Mo.) nor conservative favorite John Shadegg (Ariz.), going instead, on the second ballot, for John Boehner (Ohio), former chairman of the House Republican Conference.
On the first ballot of the secret voting, Blunt took 110 votes, seven short of the 117 needed for victory. Boehner placed second with 79, and Shadegg placed third with 40. Jim Ryun (Kan.) also got two votes as part of a ploy by Shadegg supporters to keep their man in the race for the next ballot, since only the bottom vote-getter in each round needs to withdraw. But Shadegg withdrew anyway and almost all his votes went to Boehner, who then beat Blunt on the second ballot, 122 to 109. Many Shadegg supporters believe his late entry into the race cost him numerous votes. “John would have a lot more backing had he said he was running sooner,” Rep. Trent Franks (R.-Ariz.), a Shadegg man, told Human Events Political Editor John Gizzi.