With U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the GOP whip in Congress, now running to be House majority leader in the shakeup after U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced he was going to give up his seat at the end of October, a Florida congressman is looking to move up the leadership ladder.
U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., currently part of the Republican leadership as the senior deputy majority whip, announced on Friday he will run for majority whip, the number 3 post in the House.
“After much prayer and talking with my family, colleagues and friends, I am announcing my intention to run for majority whip,” Ross said on Friday night. “Our nation is in need of strong, conservative leadership that will stand up to the president and offer conservative solutions and reforms. I have long said that Republicans cannot simply be the ‘Party of No.’ Republicans must put forth credible alternatives to Obamacare and take up immigration reform that secures our border. We must cut spending, balance our budget and simplify our tax code so Americans have more money in their pockets.
“I was elected as a strong conservative to change the way Washington operates and to limit federal government overreach and power,” Ross added. “We must return to regular order and the process as designated by our Founding Fathers. I look forward to working with my colleagues in
order to achieve conservative and meaningful solutions to the problems facing our nation.”
Born in Lakeland, Ross, an attorney who worked for Holland & Knight and as an in-house counsel for Walt Disney World, has been active in Florida politics since the early 1980s when he was an aide to then Florida Sen. Dennis Jones. After leading the Polk County GOP, Ross ran for a state Senate seat in 1996 but came up short. When Adam Putnam left the Florida House to run for the U.S. House in 2000, Ross was elected to the Legislature. In Tallahassee, Ross stood out as one of two legislators who voted against Citizens Property Insurance, arguing that the state government shouldn’t be competing with private insurers. For his opposition to the GOP majority, Ross was stripped of a committee chairmanship. Facing term limits in 2008, Ross turned his attention to Congress, winning a vacant seat in 2010 after Putnam ran for state agriculture commissioner.
U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-NC, is expected to run for the whip post and so could other candidates including U.S. Rep. Pete Roskam, R-Ill. who lost out to Scalise in the last whip contest. McHenry, the deputy whip, has been an ally of Boehner. Last week, The Hill reported that McHenry has been trying to recruit candidates in his home state of North Carolina to challenge U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC, one of the leading conservatives opposing Boehner in the Republican caucus, in the primary.
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