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Southern conservative named to U.S. House leadership post

House Majority Whip candidate Steve Scalise (R) arrives with Rep. Patrick McHenry (L) for House Republican leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 19, 2014.
CREDIT: REUTERS/JIM BOURG
House Majority Whip candidate Steve Scalise (R) arrives with Rep. Patrick McHenry (L) for House Republican leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 19, 2014. CREDIT: REUTERS/JIM BOURG

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday rounded out their new leadership team with another Southern conservative named to a senior vote-counting post, moving aside an ally of House Speaker John Boehner.

Representative Steve Scalise, who last week was elected House Majority Whip, named Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina as his chief deputy.

The post had been previously occupied by Representative Peter Roskam of Illinois, who had challenged Scalise for the majority whip post and was considered more moderate.

Scalise also named four other deputies to his whip team, serving under McHenry, to drum up votes in the Republican caucus.

These are all newer House members, with all but one elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 or later: Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Dennis Ross of Florida, Aaron Schock of Illinois, Steve Stivers of Ohio and Ann Wagner of Missouri.

The appointments complete a major party leadership shift prompted by the shock primary defeat this month of the second ranking House Republican, Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

In a hotly contested election last week, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California moved up to take over Cantor's position, while Scalise, who is from Louisiana and heads a large conservative caucus, won McCarthy's former whip seat.

McHenry, 38, was first elected in 2004 and chairs the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee and was previously a member of the Republican whip team.

"Steve is a strong conservative leader for our Conference, and I am excited for the opportunity to be a part of his team," McHenry said in a statement.

He added that he would support "a conservative pro-growth agenda that will improve our economy, create jobs and help middle-class families."

(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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