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  Shadegg Likely to Join House Leader Race to Force Party Debate
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ContributorThomas Walker 
Last EditedThomas Walker  Jan 12, 2006 12:05pm
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News DateThursday, January 12, 2006 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionJan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Representative John Shadegg of Arizona is likely to enter the race to replace Tom DeLay as House majority leader after receiving encouragement from other Republicans to run as a way of forcing a debate on the size of government.

Two lawmakers who spoke with Shadegg yesterday -- Representatives Charles Bass of New Hampshire and Jeff Flake of Arizona -- said Shadegg told them he will probably run.

``I think he's looking at it very seriously,'' Bass said in an interview.

The race, until now, has been centered on two veteran party leaders, acting House Majority Leader Roy Blunt, 56, and House Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Boehner, 56. Shadegg's entry may further divide the party as it heads toward the November 2006 elections, when all 435 House lawmakers will be up for re-election, said Michael Franc, vice president at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based public policy group.

``The risk is that they get caught up in schoolyard spats and take their eye off the ball, that being the policy agenda in an election year,'' Franc said.

Flake said he is urging Shadegg, 56, to run in part to force the other two candidates to join Shadegg in supporting cuts in government spending deeper than the House has approved and an overhaul of ethics rules.
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