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Rep. Steve Russell To Run For House Oversight Chairman

Rep. Steve Russell
Jacob McCleland
Rep. Steve Russell is running to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah as the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives.

U.S. Representative Steve Russell has announced he is seeking the chairmanship of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the House of Representatives.


Representative Jason Chaffetz will vacate the chairmanship when he leaves office at the end of June. The Republican announced on May 18 that he would resign from his position representing the Third District of Utah to spend more time with his family. Chaffetz has been chairman of the committee since January 2015, and has served in the House of Representatives since 2009.


Russell, a Republican, has served on the House Oversight Committee and represented the Fifth District of Oklahoma, including parts of Oklahoma City, Edmond and Shawnee, since 2015.  


The Washington Post reports that Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina is likely to be the next chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Members of the House Republican Steering Committee, some speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the newspaper that Gowdy has the support of many members.


The Post speculates that Russell’s candidacy may just be political strategizing.


Russell said he was running with Gowdy’s encouragement and suggested he was mainly seeking to raise his profile in anticipation of a future vacancy. “I’m very aware of what goes on behind those closed doors, but I think it’s also important to provide a depth of bench,” he said. “Do we honestly think that we will not be facing this problem again in a couple of years? Mr. Gowdy is in high demand. If there were a federal prosecuting job or something of that nature that were to come along, then rightfully so it would be of great interest to him.”


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