Rep. Chip Roy mounts last-minute campaign against Elise Stefanik for GOP conference chair

"Can't imagine Republican House Members would go with Chip Roy," Trump said in a statement

Published May 13, 2021 10:42PM (EDT)

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, is officially launching a bid to replace Liz Cheney as Republican House conference chair, hoping to beat out New York Rep. Elise Stefanik for the role.

He told CNN "I'm running" Thursday while passing by a reporter on his way to hear Stefanik speak — though speculation about Roy entering the race had been circulating throughout the Capitol after he penned a letter to his House colleagues earlier this week expressing doubts about Stefanik's candidacy.

The Trump ally and GOP firebrand had been running unopposed, and remains the heavy favorite to win — especially after Trump himself weighed in on the contest late Thursday.

"Can't imagine Republican House Members would go with Chip Roy -- he has not done a great job, and will probably be successfully primaried in his own district," Trump wrote in a statement. "I support Elise, by far, over Chip!"

Cheney was ousted from the role Wednesday over what Republican critics say was insufficient loyalty to the former president. Cheney refused to endorse "The Big Lie," which falsely states that Trump won November's election due to widespread fraud. 

"We must go forward based on truth. We cannot both embrace the big lie and the Constitution," she said Wednesday after being voted out. 

"I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office. We have seen the danger that he continues to provoke with his language. We have seen his lack of commitment and dedication to the Constitution. And I think it is very important that we make sure whomever we elect is somebody who will be faithful to the Constitution," Cheney added. 

The election begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET

By Brett Bachman

Brett Bachman was the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.

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Brief Chip Roy Donald Trump Elise Stefanik House Of Representatives Liz Cheney Politics