Sens. Ernst, Fischer expected to vie for the same GOP leadership post

WASHINGTON — Sens. Deb Fischer and Joni Ernst are friends and colleagues who represent neighboring farm states.

And now they’re seeking the same position in Senate Republican leadership, according to a report published Wednesday by The Hill.

Up for grabs is the position of vice chair of the Senate GOP conference. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., is leaving that role and his successor will be determined in November.

And some are thinking it’s about time for the elected Senate GOP leadership to include a woman again, according to The Hill. If successful, Fischer or Ernst would be the first woman to serve in elected Senate GOP leadership since 2010.

Nebraska’s Fischer already has some experience in the area, having served for years on the Senate Republicans’ whip team and as a counselor to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

Ernst has political connections that come, in part, from representing Iowa, with its prominent role in presidential campaigning.

Fischer must first win her re-election bid in the coming midterm election. Ernst won’t be on the ballot again until 2020.

Fischer spokeswoman Brianna Puccini provided a statement to The World-Herald:

“Senator Fischer has been encouraged by a number of her colleagues to consider an elected leadership position. These elections don’t take place until November and the senator has no additional comment. She remains focused on serving the people of Nebraska.”