Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Highland) formally took himself out of the race for the No. 2 leadership job among House Republicans today, but another GOP member vowed to nominate Rep. Henry Hyde of Illinois for the job and make it a three-way contest.
Lewis, who as chairman of the House Republican Conference holds the third-ranking job in the GOP hierarchy, made no formal endorsement when he announced his decision at a news conference. The job of Republican whip is being vacated by Rep. Dick Cheney so he can become President Bush’s secretary of defense. The remaining candidates are Rep. Edward Madigan of Illinois, the current deputy whip, and Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia.