Top House Republicans are ramping up their fundraising efforts with an eye on potential leadership races if Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) does not stick around for another term.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) all donated heavily to their House colleagues and Republican candidates in March, picking up their giving pace as attention increasingly turns to the midterm elections in November.
Fundraising is an important factor in internal leadership battles, and while Cantor and McCarthy are looking to shore up their positions atop the totem pole, Roskam and Hensarling are seen as potential contenders for senior posts in the future. Roskam now serves under McCarthy as chief deputy whip, while the conservative Hensarling heads the Financial Services Committee after serving in the leadership until last year.
Boehner remains the party’s fundraising king, collecting $54 million for himself and the GOP in 2013 and another $4.5 million for his own committees in the first three months of this year, according to his staff. He has sought in recent weeks to tamp down in both public and in private speculation that he may retire at the end of the year, insisting that he plans to run for Speaker again and that his standing within the Republican conference is as strong as it has ever been.
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