Boehner (R-Ohio) isn’t expected to stick around for that much longer, so whoever wins the election next week gets a spot in a short line to the front of a Republican Party in transition.
The men lining up — not one woman is running — have been whipping and cajoling their fellow Republicans for support all summer, doling out cash and pressing them on what they want to see changed in the House Republican Conference.
In the race for policy chair, the only true open spot at the leadership table, Indiana Rep. Luke Messer is the clear front-runner, according to people closely monitoring the contest. He’s running against Reps. Rob Woodall of Georgia and Tom Reed of New York. The policy position is being vacated by Rep. James Lankford, who will be the next senator from Oklahoma. Messer has locked up the support of high-profile Reps. Peter Roskam of Illinois and Jim Jordan of Ohio, and has been campaigning for months.