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Choosing the LeaderLeadership Elections in the U.S. House of Representatives$
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Matthew N Green and Douglas Harris

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300222579

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300222579.001.0001

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Challenges to the Heir Apparent

Challenges to the Heir Apparent

Chapter:
(p.116) Five Challenges to the Heir Apparent
Source:
Choosing the Leader
Author(s):

Matthew N. Green

Douglas B. Harris

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300222579.003.0005

This chapter focuses on challenges to the heir apparent, when, despite an established pattern of succession, a lawmaker wishing to ascend the so-called leadership ladder to a newly vacant position is challenged by another candidate. These types of races often occur when the heir apparent is politically vulnerable or a sizeable group of partisans support a rival on political or personal grounds. The chapter analyzes three challenges to the heir apparent. The first was probably the most famous example of this type of race in the contemporary House—the 1976 race for Democratic majority leader—and the other two were races for Republican majority leader in early 2006 and, after that year's congressional elections, Democratic majority leader. In all three instances, one of the candidates running for majority leader was serving as whip, a position that at the time was the “natural” precursor to becoming leader.

Keywords:   Congress, House of Representatives, heir apparent, political challenge, political leadership, congressional leaders

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