Indiana Republican Mike Pence, a conservative favorite who easily won re-election last night, will step down from his position on the House leadership team, where he was the Republican conference chairman. Pence, recruited by expected new Speaker John Boehner three years ago, alluded to a possible presidential run in 2012. Immediately following his announcement, Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann announced her bid for his post—along with Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington is said to be weighing the idea as well. The conference chair position is the third most-powerful post for the minority party and the fourth for the majority party. Pence, who has held six terms in the House, won a presidential straw poll at a “values voter” summit in Washington in September.
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