Joni Ernst Competes Against Tom Cotton for Senate GOP Conference Chair

Credits: News From The States

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst has announced her candidacy for Senate Republican Conference chair, following Sen. Tom Cotton’s bid for the same position last week, according to Politico.

Ernst, currently the Republican Policy Committee chair, expressed her confidence in her ability to win the third-highest GOP leadership role, despite some colleagues urging her to aim for a higher position.

Tom Cotton (Credits: The Hill)

In an interview with Politico, Ernst emphasized her outsider status within the Republican Party and her willingness to challenge the establishment. She holds the fourth-highest position in the Senate Republican leadership and believes she can provide a voice of reason and truth.

Cotton, who is not a member of the upper chamber’s elected leadership, announced his bid for Senate Republican Conference chair last Tuesday.

Ernst and Cotton were first elected to the Senate in 2014. Ernst is the ranking member of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, while Cotton holds the same position on the Air Land Power Subcommittee.

Joni Ernst and Tom Cotton (Credits: CNN)

Meanwhile, Republican Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the current Senate GOP Conference Chair, announced his intention to run for Senate Minority Whip, dispelling speculation that he would run to succeed Sen. Mitch McConnell, who stepped down as Senate Minority Leader in November.

Senate Minority Whip John Thune and Texas Sen. John Cornyn are running for the top leadership position. Ernst’s and Cotton’s bids indicate a shift in the Senate Republican leadership, with both candidates positioning themselves as independent thinkers who can provide a fresh perspective within the party.

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