Hotline is now reporting two dozen House Republicans have stepped up to sign on to an election petition, and fingers Rep. Jeff Flake as one of the ringleaders. There are at least two or three others lobbying conservatives and moderates to sign on.
The names in play for new leadership continue to be Blunt and Boehner. Fiscal conservatives are pushing Rep. Mike Pence, while others are pushing Rep. Zach Wamp.
We think, based on conversations we’ve had in the past few days that the names to watch – and what they say and do over the next few days – are Reps. Debra Pryce, Eric Cantor and Pence.
Pryce is being overlooked, and shouldn’t be underestimated. Cantor is increasingly getting attention, and while he may not have built up the operation to pull off an election to Leader, he almost certainly will leap frog others to a senior leadership post.
The other wild card: Speaker Dennis Hastert. He has been strangely quiet about all of this, and while that has allowed others to fill the vacuum and move ahead with an election drive, there are some wondering just how long he intends to put up with a growing mess of a situation.