McMorris Rodgers won't run for GOP leadership
© Anna Moneymaker

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersHillicon Valley: Republicans demand answers from mobile carriers on data practices | Top carriers to stop selling location data | DOJ probing Huawei | T-Mobile execs stayed at Trump hotel as merger awaited approval House Republicans question mobile carriers on data practices Washington governor announces killer whale recovery plan MORE (R-Wash.) will not seek another term in leadership following the loss of the GOP majority in the House.

McMorris Rodgers will instead focus on seeking a ranking member position on one of the subpanels for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, a source close to her decision said.

The fourth-ranking House Republican would have faced a difficult challenge in retaining her position.

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyDem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King If Republicans rebuked Steve King, they must challenge Donald Trump White House's Sanders: King white supremacist comments 'abhorrent' MORE (R-Wyo.), who has the backing of top Republicans in the House, announced a challenge to McMorris Rodgers's post earlier this week.

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”Members have been frustrated for a long time with the tired messaging coming out of conference and the election made it even clearer that a new direction is needed,” one senior GOP aide told The Hill. "She would not have beat Liz.”

Aides said McMorris Rodgers did not plan to challenge House Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScalisePelosi pulls State of the Union surprise on Trump House GOP blast Pelosi for suggesting State of the Union delay Scalise: Trump wants Congress to solve shutdown problem MORE (R-La.) for minority whip.

Another aide said people shouldn't rule out a comeback to leadership for McMorris Rodgers down the road.

The aide noted that McMorris won her own competitive House race by double digits, and that former Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King House passes resolution condemning white nationalism GOP leaders strip Steve King of committee assignments MORE (R-Ohio) lost a leadership race before successfully running for Speaker.

“Look at what happened to BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King House passes resolution condemning white nationalism GOP leaders strip Steve King of committee assignments MORE — and he even lost a leadership election," a GOP aide told The Hill. "Anyone saying her time in the leadership arena is over is short-sighted.”

Over the course of the 2018 cycle, McMorris Rodgers raised $17 million, distributing $2.1 million to the House GOP's campaign arm and $9 million to other members and candidates.