December 5, 2022
Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern on Wednesday announced he is entering the race to become chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress.

Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern on Wednesday announced he is entering the race to become chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest conservative caucus in Congress.

The RSC chairmanship, currently held by Indiana Rep. Jim Banks, has served as a springboard for some of the most powerful Republicans in recent years, including former Vice President Mike Pence, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jim Jordan, and House Republican Vice Conference Chairman Mike Johnson.

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Hern, who was first elected in 2018, was speculated to have been a contender to run for Oklahoma’s open Senate seat but ultimately opted to remain in the House.

The Oklahoma Republican, who has received endorsements from senior members including House Rules Committee ranking member Tom Cole and Education and Labor Committee ranking member Virginia Foxx, touted his work on helping craft the RSC’s balanced budget proposal while making his case for why he thinks he’s best equipped to handle the job.

“I was on RSC from day one getting into Congress. Jim Banks ran for RSC chair. I helped him to get votes and talked to him about being the budget chair,” Hern told the Washington Examiner. “I saw that this conference can do things, so I got on that and [worked] for five months to produce a balanced budget with 10 of my colleagues, and I think it’s very important that we continue to do so.”

While no other members have entered the race, freshman Florida Rep. Kat Cammack is expected to launch a bid in the coming days.

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Cammack, who has also been touted as a rising star in the conference, has been talking to members informally and has a whip team that includes Reps. Byron Donalds, Markwayne Mullin, and Jason Smith helping her garner support in the race, according to a source with knowledge of her plans.

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