Congressman James Saxton predicts that he will serve as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee in January 2009, if Republicans can win back control of the U.S. House of Representatives next year. Duncan Hunter, the ranking Republican on the panel, is not seeking re-election in 2008 in order to concentrate on his bid for the GOP presidential nomination.
Saxton would be first in seniority on the committee, if he wins re-election to a fourteenth term. His district is strongly Republican.
"Duncan Hunter is one of my closest friends and a great leader in Washington," said Saxton, who is expected to endorse Hunter's presidential bid. "He has served California and the nation well in Congress. He has an ironclad reputation for fair-mindedness, bipartisanship and always, always putting the interests of the troops ahead of politics."
A statement issued by Saxton's office notes that Republicans need to pickup sixteen seats in the next election to win the majority. "Considering Saxton's friend John Boehner recently won the top GOP post, Minority Leader, Saxton's ascension to chair or ranking member, seems secure."