WASHINGTON — Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, is not seeking a higher leadership position in the wake of House Speaker John Boehner's resignation, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Boehner abruptly announced last week that he would retire at the end of October, raising questions not only about the fate of pending legislative fights but also who would succeed him.

Observers have long speculated that Hensarling had his eye on ascending to the leadership. Following Boehner's announcement last week, Hensarling's spokeswoman said the Texas lawmaker was "considering his options."

But it appears he will not join the crowded field of those looking to rise. "After prayerful consideration, Chairman Hensarling is not a candidate for a leadership position," the spokeswoman said in a statement Monday.

The conservative lawmaker similarly declined to run last year when then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor was unseated in the Virginia primary. Hensarling previously served as the Republican conference chair, the party's No. 4 position.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the current majority leader, is said to be the leading candidate for the speaker position, with several top GOP candidates vying to replace McCarthy as majority leader. Hensarling will back Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., for that spot, the spokeswoman added.

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