Scalise is the only Southern member in the House GOP leadership
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.editor
WASHINGTON (CFP) — Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana has been elected as House majority whip, making him the sole Southerner in the House GOP hierarchy.
Scalise, 48, who represents the Pelican State’s 1st District anchored in the New Orleans suburbs, defeated U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam of Illinois and Martin Stutzman of Indiana in the June 19 vote.
The final vote total wasn’t announced, but Scalise won a majority among the 233 House Republicans on the first ballot. He will take office August 1 as the No. 3 Republican in the House.
“I’m looking forward to bringing a fresh new voice to our leadership table and joining with this team to help confront the challenges that people all across this country are facing,” Scalise said after the vote.
“We’ve got solid conservative solutions that are going to solve the problems facing our country.”
Scalise’s ascension was made possible by the defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia in his June 10 GOP primary race.
Cantor resigned as majority leader, and the current majority whip, U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, claimed Cantor’s spot, opening up the whip’s post for Scalise.
Despite the fact that nearly half of the 233 members of the House Republican caucus represent Southern states, Scalise is the only Southerner in the party’s leadership. Cantor had also been the only Southern leader.
Southerner members also hold nine of the 21 committee chairmanships in the House.
Scalise was elected to the House in 2008. He was previously a state legislator in Louisiana.