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Rep. Peter Roskam not running for a leadership spot

WASHINGTON — Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., decided Wednesday not to run for a leadership spot in the wake of a shuffle at the top triggered by the surprise decision of House Speaker John Boehner to quit last Friday.

“On the heels of one of the most remarkable political developments in American history, we should honor the opportunity before us to reset our operations to a more effective plan,” Roskam said in a letter to his GOP colleagues. “I’m not running in any of the leadership elections because I hope to continue to work at driving these themes to empower our leadership and our Members. I truly believe we can have a transformative and impactful majority, but it will require us rethinking how we have been operating individually, collectively, and structurally.”

Roskam led the drive for Republican House members to meet on Tuesday to assess where they want to go in the wake of Boehner being forced out by a group of hard-line conservatives who thought he was not fighting hard enough against President Barack Obama.

Below, a letter from Roskam to his colleagues.

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) sent the following Dear Colleague letter to his House Republican colleagues on the future of the Conference:

Dear Colleague —

I’m writing to thank you for participating in yesterday’s Conference meeting. It was my hope that we would all pause to recognize the gravity of having our Speaker step down in the middle of a session not because of any scandal or health issue or loss of a majority. Speaker Boehner made a sacrifice in stepping aside, and I thought it incumbent upon us to not waste the sacrifice by just moving on to leadership elections without reflecting on any lessons about how to move forward together.

To be sure, a two-hour meeting isn’t enough to solve all of the concerns and issues we face. But I do believe it was a constructive time for our Conference. I was encouraged by the measured and sober interaction. As I said in my letter to you earlier, I did not believe it would be a fruitful transition for either the Conference or our next leaders if we were to move straight into elections. I think many of our colleagues agree that we need a plan, not just a person.

It is my hope that those proposing to lead us will outline a plan for how we can more aggressively assert our Article I authority against the Administration, and also how we can be more provocative in our challenges so as to command more of the narrative of these debates.

And to my fellow rank-and-file Members, I hope we play a constructive role reflecting on and engaging our colleagues on two other themes: how are we going to define success? And, what should we expect of our leaders and how they spend their time? Right now, we ask of our leaders the impossible task of being on the road, in our districts, and in the press—all while fulfilling other vital policy and communications responsibilities.

On the heels of one of the most remarkable political developments in American history, we should honor the opportunity before us to reset our operations to a more effective plan. I’m not running in any of the leadership elections because I hope to continue to work at driving these themes to empower our leadership and our Members. I truly believe we can have a transformative and impactful majority, but it will require us rethinking how we have been operating individually, collectively, and structurally.

Very truly yours,

Peter