WASHINGTON Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, has announced that he will not run for majority leader to replace Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.
Cantor lost his district primary Tuesday night in a stunning upset to college professor David Brat, and said on Wednesday that he will step down as majority leader at the end of July. Hensarling was on the shortlist of lawmakers considering a play for position, but said in a statement Thursday that he will not seek the position during next Thursday's race.
"Although I am humbled by the calls, emails, and conversations from my colleagues encouraging me to return to leadership for the remainder of the 113th Congress, I will not be a candidate for majority leader next week," Hensarling said in the statement. "After prayerful reflection, I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right office at the right time for me and my family. I look forward to working with the new Majority Leader to fight for a freer, stronger, more prosperous America as chairman of the Financial Services Committee and the representative of the fifth district of Texas."
Had Hensarling run and won, the move would have opened up the top seat on the banking panel, where the Texas Republican has held the gavel since January 2013, raising fresh questions about the direction of the committee.
Another Texas Republican, Rep. Pete Sessions, is now expected to run against Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California for majority leader.