Hastert Won’t Seek House Leader Post

Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., told fellow Republican lawmakers on Wednesday he does not intend to run for minority leader when Democrats take control of the House in January, officials said.

Hastert conveyed word in a conference call one day after Republicans lost control of the House in midterm elections.

The officials who described Hastert’s plans did so on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a formal announcement.

His decision to step down cleared the way for a likely succession battle. Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the majority leader, is expected to run, and Reps. Mike Pence of Indiana and Joe Barton of Texas have also signaled they may make a bid for leadership positions.

The officials said they did not know whether Hastert intended to remain in Congress. He was elected to an 11th term in Illinois on Tuesday night, and had said he would seek a new term as speaker if the GOP held the House.

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