POLITICS & ELECTIONS

Utah Rep. Blake Moore elected to House GOP leadership

Nov 8, 2023, 2:25 PM | Updated: 4:18 pm

Rep. Blake Moore...

Rep. Blake Moore, R-Utah, voted "no" as the House tried to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas earlier this week. In this photo Moore speaks at the Utah Republican Party Organizing Convention in Orem on April 22. (Ryan Sun, Desert News)

(Ryan Sun, Desert News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Rep. Blake Moore was elected to House Republican leadership Wednesday to fill a role recently vacated by new House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana.

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, R-New York, announced on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that Moore won a caucus election to become the new vice chairman, or seventh-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives.

“Congratulations to the @HouseGOP’s new Vice Chair @RepBlake Moore,” Stefanik posted.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve my colleagues,” Moore said on social media. “We’ll work hard to move forward the House GOP’s ‘Commitment to America’ and fight for a better American future!”

Moore was first elected in 2020 and is one of the shortest-serving members in Republican leadership. He edged out Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Texas, in the final round of votes for the position.

Moore told KSL-TV his new role is “actually very much behind the scenes,” but he said the position is likely getting more attention because Johnson most recently served there.

“A lot of people are joking that now this is like third in line to the president. Of course, it’s not necessarily the case,” he said with a laugh.

A total of seven candidates were vying for the role, according to Politico, which noted that Moore is described by some of his colleagues as “a human golden retriever.”

“It’s never fun to run against your colleagues,” Moore said. “This wasn’t necessarily on my radar; I had to step out of my comfort zone a little bit to go after this. … I want people to understand that those conservative principles are what drive the American dream, and make sure that we capture new voices within this party. And so, I think people were really drawn to that side of it, they know I”m going to work hard.”

“Republicans were surprised by the crowded race for the No. 7 position, which is mainly known for overseeing members’ one-minute floor speeches,” Politico wrote. “Some theorized that Johnson’s quick rise helped make the role more popular.”

As for being compared to a golden retriever, Moore said he “read that for the first time today” and suspects his colleagues have been saying it behind his back.

“But my wife saw that, and she goes, ‘Yeah, I can see that. You’re very lovable, but you’re also very annoying sometimes.’ That’s how she views a retriever,” he said. “Politicians have been called worse, so I’ll be good with it.”

Republican representatives were tasked with filling the vice chairman role following Johnson’s meteoric rise to speaker. Johnson went from a relatively unknown congressman to second in line for the presidency after a weekslong squabble among Republicans to replace former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-California, who was ousted early last month.

Johnson congratulated Moore on winning the post, signaling that the position can serve as a springboard.

“As the outgoing Vice Chair, my advice to you is simple — even bigger things can come next,” he said in a social media post. “I’m excited to have you join this esteemed leadership team.”

Moore received congratulations from other Utah politicians, including Rep. Burgess Owens and Gov. Spencer Cox.

“HUGE news for one of the best people I know,” Cox posted on X. “We are proud of Blake and the way he represents our great state!”

“Congrats to my friend @RepBlakeMoore on his election to succeed @SpeakerJohnson as Vice Chair of the Republican Conference,” Rep. John Curtis posted. “Once again, Utah shows that it always punches above its weight.”

Sen. Mitt Romney echoed that line, saying he’s “looking forward to seeing our state’s values elevated in Washington.”

“Congratulations to my friend @repblakemoore on his new position,” Utah Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson said. “Keep making Utah proud!”

Moore said he’s unsure if he’s the first Utahn to be elected to the position of vice chairman in the House of Representatives.

“We’ve obviously never had a speaker of the House or anything like that, but we think that’s the case,” he said, when asked if he’s the first. “And we haven’t heard of anything to refute that.”

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Utah Rep. Blake Moore elected to House GOP leadership