Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, said in an interview today that he plans to seek another term as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
That’s the organization that works to get Republicans elected to the House. Cole won the job after the 2006 elections, when Democrats routed Republicans and took control of the House.
Expected to turn things around immediately, Cole was the subject of some withering criticism (much of it made anonymously) and palace intrigue when Republicans lost special elections in districts long held by the GOP.
And earlier this year, some pundits were expecting a total bloodbath for Republicans that might cost them up to 40 seats in the House.
But, as of Wednesday afternoon, Cole said the losses would be in the range of 18 to 23 seats for Republicans. Not good, he said, but also not nearly as bad as some had predicted.
“We did a lot better than a lot of people thought we were going to do,” he said.
The chairman of the GOP campaign committee is elected by Republican House members. Two years ago, Cole, who has a wealth of political experience at the state and national levels, beat two of his colleagues.
It’s not clear whether he will be opposed this time. The leadership elections are expected to be held in two weeks.
Cole said the campaign committee is in much better shape now than when he took it over. It was deeply in debt then, and Cole made it his top priority to retire the debt.