Johnson served as vice chair of the House Republican Conference from January 2021 until October 2023. In the role, he focused on ensuring the conference was coordinated and properly trained on messaging.
He also worked closely with Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the chairwoman of the conference. Over the course of the last several weeks, a number of members have had conversations with Stefanik to express interest in working alongside her as the conference ventures into uncharted waters with a new speaker and an election on the horizon.
“The House Republican Conference is stronger and more unified than ever. Despite being continually doubted by the mainstream media, this Republican Conference continues to deliver major wins for the American people,” Stefanik said in a statement. “With seven extremely qualified Members running for Vice Chair, I am excited for the opportunity to work with each of these individuals to ensure the Republican Conference is on message to stay on offense, hold the Biden Administration accountable, fulfill our Commitment to America, and win in 2024.”
In total, seven people are running for the seat: Reps. Mark Alford (R-MO), Mike Collins (GA), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Brian Mast (R-FL), Blake Moore (R-UT), and Beth Van Duyne (R-TX).
None of these members have served in leadership before but are all gunning for the role, which often goes unnoticed publicly and doesn’t attract the national attention of most other posts.
Johnson underscored its significance, however, praising the performance of the candidates in a forum held on Tuesday.
“It’s an important position in the conference, and I’m delighted by the candidates who have stepped forward to offer themselves for that position,” Johnson told the Washington Examiner. “We have an embarrassment of riches in the House Republican Conference, really talented, very dedicated people, and so, I thought they brought great ideas to the candidate forum.”