Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, is among three candidates in today’s election for the U.S. House majority whip, the person responsible for gauging how caucus members intend to vote on bills.
He is the first federal lawmaker from Indiana to seek a leadership post in either a Republican or Democratic caucus since GOP Rep. Mike Pence – now the state’s governor – ran for House minority leader in 2006. Pence lost to Ohio Rep. John Boehner, the former majority leader and future House speaker, by a 168-27 tally.
Stutzman has acknowledged he is a long shot in this afternoon’s voting, which will be done by secret paper ballot among the 233 Republican members of the House.
They also will elect a majority leader – California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current whip, is favored over Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador – to replace Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, who was upset in his state’s primary election last week.
In the whip race, the winner must win a majority of the votes cast. If no one does, the third-place finisher will be eliminated, and there will be a runoff between the top two finishers.
Here is a look at the three candidates for whip.
Name: Peter Roskam
District: Illinois’ 6th, consisting of north and west suburbs of Chicago
First elected: 2006
Experience: Currently the chief deputy majority whip; former whip and floor leader in Illinois Senate
American Conservative Union rating: 89.14 of 100 for career
Caucus support: Establishment Republicans. He has been projected as the runner-up in the whip race but would benefit if conservatives split their votes for his two rivals.
Name: Steve Scalise
District: Louisiana’s 1st, consisting of New Orleans and suburbs
Occupation: Former systems engineer
First elected: 2008
Experience: Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a 170-plus-member caucus of the more conservative members of the House
American Conservative Union rating: 98 out of 100 for career
Caucus support: Conservative Republicans from Southern states and elsewhere. Scalise has been considered the favorite in today’s contest.
Name: Marlin Stutzman
District: Indiana’s 3rd, consisting of Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana
Occupation: Corn and soybean farmer
First elected: 2010
Experience: A member of McCarthy’s whip team before being removed in 2013 for opposing party rules for debating and amending the farm bill; former assistant whip in Indiana House
American Conservative Union rating: 99 of 100 for career
Caucus support: The large GOP freshman class of 2010, which gave Republicans their House majority. Stutzman is thought to be running behind Scalise and Roskam.