U.S. Rep. Doug Collins has been the subject of some political intrigue in Georgia recently. The rumors suggested the Gainesville Republican was eyeing some sort of position based in the Peach State.
But it turns out Collins is angling for a more prominent role on Capitol Hill. The congressional newspaper Roll Call is reporting that he is running for the No. 5 spot in the chamber's leadership chain, the Republican conference vice chairmanship.
The paper says the position is an open one after current occupant Lynn Jenkins of Kansas announced she wouldn't be running for another term. Roll Call says Collins has a competitor in Texan Bill Flores, the outgoing chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.
“As a leader who initiates crucial conversations and commits to hard votes, I am equipped to increase the unity within our party and across our nation,” Collins said in a pitch to colleagues...
Collins, a sophomore who serves on the Judiciary and Rules committees, has tried to exert himself as a strong conservative voice in the conference, championing free market issues and intellectual property rights.
In his note to colleagues, Collins said that Republicans must tell the story of how a limited government can reduce economic and creative limitations that Americans currently face, and explain that the GOP “is the party of compassion, fairness, and freedom.”
Collins accused Democrats of hijacking the meaning of hope by associating it with socialized health care and government benefits and said that Republicans can reclaim the definition and make hope synonymous with opportunity.
This is Collins' first bid for a party leadership post, according to Roll Call. The Republican, who just won a third term, spent much of his October on the campaign trail aiding Republican colleagues in the Midwest, California and Florida.
The paper points out that Flores' past position as head of the Republican Study Committee, a group Collins is also a part of, gives him a large constituency from which to draw support.
House Republicans plan to elect their party leaders by secret ballot on Tuesday.