Exclusive: Sessions Not Running for Majority Whip, Seeks Reelection at NRCC

Texas lawmaker also to lead new member development for GOP next Congress.

ByABC News
November 7, 2010, 6:10 PM

Nov. 8, 2010 -- ABC News has learned exclusively that Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, will not challenge Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., for majority whip and has instead decided to run for reelection as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Additionally, the next presumptive Speaker of the House, John Boehner, confirmed in a statement that he has asked Sessions to lead new member development for the class of at least 84 incoming Republican freshmen lawmakers who propelled the GOP into the House majority in last week's congressional midterm elections.

"Our Republican Conference needs Pete Sessions' steady hand of leadership next Congress, and I am very pleased that he has decided to seek another term as NRCC Chairman. Additionally, I've asked Pete to take the lead for New Member Development," Boehner, R-Ohio, said. "Pete's position on the Rules Committee gives him a unique vantage point to help our new members navigate policy issues and his many friendships across the Capitol will help in introducing our new colleagues to the Senate."

So far, Sessions is running unopposed for the NRCC post, which is the fifth-ranking leadership position among House Republicans.

ABC News has also learned that Sessions will also be named to the 22-member GOP transition committee announced later this morning. That committee, which is chaired by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Oregon, will work through the lame duck session to review all House procedures and structures and implement many of the proposals laid out in the GOP's "Pledge to America."

Before last Tuesday's election, some top Republican aides had privately suspected that a strong showing on election night for the GOP in the House of Representatives might inspire Sessions to consider running against McCarthy for the third-ranking post in the GOP House leadership.

But now that the election is over, Sessions says that the challenge to maintain the GOP majority has motivated him to continue leading at the NRCC through the 2012 election.