WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Republican U.S. Representative Chip Roy, a two-term conservative from Texas, said on Thursday he intends to run for the No. 3 House of Representatives Republican leadership job to replace Liz Cheney, who on Wednesday was fired from the post.
“I’m running,” Roy told reporters. Former President Donald Trump issued a statement criticizing Roy and again declared he backed Representative Elise Stefanik.
Roy, a conservative who is a former chief of staff to Republican Senator Ted Cruz, could draw support from the influential, right-wing House Freedom Caucus.
Some House conservatives have grumbled about Stefanik’s more moderate voting record, which included her opposition to the Republicans’ 2017 tax cut law. At the time she said it would hurt her New York constituents who would be left paying bigger tax bills each year.
Since then, Stefanik has tacked to the right and vigorously defended Trump during his first impeachment.
Republicans might be inclined to elect a woman to replace Cheney, given that the top two leadership positions are held by men and the Republican Party often has difficulties appealing to suburban women voters.
Cheney was toppled from the Republican Conference leadership job after voting in January to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Since then, she has drawn growing discontent from Republican rank-and-file for criticizing Trump for continuing to rally his supporters by claiming that he lost the 2020 presidential race due to voter fraud.
Trump’s assertion has been rejected by numerous courts and his own administration.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by Leslie Adler and Richard Chang)