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At a Republican retreat on St. Michael’s Island in Maryland two weeks ago, there was private discussion among members there about electing permanent, new leadership after the House recess ends January 31. For an election to occur, a full caucus meeting to discuss the election must be held at the petitioned request of 50 caucus members. A majority of the caucus must then agree to an election timeline.
Rumors of a leadership election have been swirling around the Capitol for several weeks. Last week, Rep. Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) told his caucus that he intended to remain as chairman of the House Republican campaign committee through the 2006 election cycle. Reynolds was one of a handful of names being tossed around for a new leadership position.
One person who has done little to tamp down rumors is Rep. John Boehner (Ohio). He is believed to be actively, but quietly mapping out a strategy with outside advisers for a post-holiday recess play for an election that would vault him into a senior leadership position in the caucus.