FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, is a conservative Republican and a Tea Party favorite. He is now running for the third most powerful position in the U.S. House: majority whip.
NewsChannel 15 caught up with Stutzman in Allen County during an urban farming meeting Friday morning. Stutzman is expected to be a long shot for the position, but he said it’s time for a fresh face and new ideas among the leadership in Washington.
“I think it’s important that we have leadership from the middle of the country that understand agriculture and the values that we have here in Indiana of hard work and love for our country,” said the farmer from LaGrange County. “As I’ve talked to my colleagues, I just finally came to the point that I needed to throw my hat in the ring. If I was going to grumble about what leadership was doing, then I should at least run.”
The majority whip talks to Republicans in the House to see what they think about upcoming legislation and also tells the party how to vote.
IPFW political science professor Mike Wolf said Stutzman’s move could be a way to set himself up to run for high-ranking positions in the future. Months ago, Stutzman told NewsChannel 15 he was seriously thinking about running for chairmanship of the influential Republican Study Committee in the next Congress. Friday, however, he said he doesn’t think he’s going to do that after all.
“I don’t think he would have put his name in if he weren’t generally after it this time and setting himself up for next time,” Wolf said.
Stutzman said he’s got a lot of campaigning to do in a short amount of time. Republicans will vote for the majority whip Thursday.
Stutzman is running against Rep. Peter Roskam of Illinois and Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana.
This current Republican whip is expected to take over as the House majority leader. Current majority leader Eric Cantor recently lost his Virginia primary, which caused the leadership shakeup.