(WASHINGTON) — Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney announced on Monday that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the highest-ranked Republican woman in Congress, will serve as the campaign’s point person in the House of Representatives.
Romney and McMorris Rogers appeared together at a fundraiser in the Seattle area Monday night, where Romney personally announced the appointment of the Washington state Republican to her new role with the campaign. The event is expected to have collected up to $4 million for the Romney campaign, according to a GOP source.
In her new capacity, McMorris Rodgers will serve as liaison between the campaign and Republicans in the House, where she is the fifth-ranked GOP leader as vice chair of the House Republican Conference. She’ll essentially quarterback the relationship with the Romney campaign and the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, helping coordinate and align the GOP’s message on both fronts.
“I am honored that Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers has agreed to take a leadership role on behalf of the campaign,” Romney wrote in a statement announcing the decision. “She understands the impact of the economic challenges Americans face and the need to put our country on a better track. As a member of the leadership team in the House, she will be a helpful partner in our efforts to ensure our focus remains on the critical issue of economic security for all Americans.”
McMorris Rodgers, a four-term lawmaker in the House, has been considered by some congressional insiders as a long-shot wild card as Romney’s running mate. The two last campaigned together in March ahead of the Washington caucuses, which Romney won by 13 points.
“I am truly honored to serve as the leader of Mitt Romney’s House team,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Governor Romney has demonstrated the leadership and vision that we have been fighting for in Congress to stop runaway government spending and create an environment for job creation.”
Across the Capitol, Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has led the Romney campaign’s congressional outreach efforts since last fall. Blunt, who is vice chair of the GOP conference in the upper chamber, will continue to serve as the campaign’s liaison to the Senate.
McMorris Rodgers said she is looking forward to the assignment and teaming with Blunt “in our effort to get our country back on the right track.”
A GOP aide said McMorris Rodgers and Blunt will personally meet with campaign officials from Team Romney later this week to work out the details of the assignment.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Tom LoBianco, Deirdre Walsh and Tal Kopan, CNN
Shelbie Harris, Idaho State Journal