November 19, 2008 / 5:12 PM / 10 years ago

Boehner re-elected House Republican leader

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ohio Republican Rep. John Boehner survived a challenge on Wednesday to remain leader of his party’s shrinking minority in the U.S. House of Representatives, party aides said.

Boehner won a second two-year term in a closed-door meeting of House Republicans, aides said. He defeated Rep. Dan Lungren of California, who argued the party needed new leadership in the wake of its losses in the November 4 election. The vote in their contest was not immediately announced.

Democrats gained 22 seats on Election Day to increase their majority in the 435-member House to 257, with a few a races yet to be decided.

While Boehner won another term as leader, the House’s second- and third- ranking Republicans — Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri and Minority Conference Chair Adam Putnam of Florida — decided to leave the leadership.

Eric Cantor of Virginia was elected by voice vote to replace Blunt. Mike Pence of Indiana was expected to be elected to replace Putnam, aides said.

Reporting by Richard Cowan; writing by Thomas Ferraro; editing by David Alexander and Vicki Allen

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