Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Tuesday won a competitive four-way race to become the House Oversight Committee chairman in the new Congress starting in January.
Chaffetz and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Mike Turner (R-Ohio) and John Mica (R-Fla.) vied to succeed current Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who is term-limited, for the high-profile gavel.
All four candidates emphasized throughout their candidacies that they’d try to run the committee differently from Issa’s controversial tenure.
Over the course of the last two days, the House GOP Steering Committee, a panel consisting of elected leadership, top committee chairmen and regional representatives that determines gavel assignments, interviewed candidates and voted on who should win the chairmanships.
Oversight was the most contested race this year.
Two of the candidates, Jordan and Turner, hailed from Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) home state, inserting another wrench into the mix.
Ranking committee member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) congratulated Chaffetz and said he’s looking forward to collaborating with him.
“I am encouraged that Rep. Chaffetz has shown a sincere interest in working together and focusing on reform, and I hope this bipartisanship continues,” Cummings said.
Issa became well known for conducting aggressive hearings and clashing with Democrats, particularly during the contempt of Congress proceedings against Attorney General Eric Holder and the investigation of the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
The California Republican went as far as cutting off Cummings’s (D-Md.) microphone during a March hearing on the IRS.
Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the current Budget Committee chairman and 2012 vice presidential candidate, has taken the Ways and Means Committee chairmanship, besting Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas).
Brady, always a long shot, withdrew his candidacy late Tuesday in a concession to Ryan, who has described the post as his dream job.
Boehner also made select appointments for two House committees. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) will lead the Ethics Committee, while Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) will take over the Intelligence Committee.
Nunes’s selection came over two high-profile competitors: House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and former House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.).
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) confirmed to The Hill Tuesday evening that he had been selected as the new House Armed Services Committee chairman.
Thornberry was widely considered to become the next chairman of the House Armed Services Committee despite a late challenge from Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.). The retiring chairman, Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), implicitly endorsed Thornberry, who has served as the panel’s second-ranking Republican for the last four years.