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Steve Scalise Taps Patrick McHenry as Chief Deputy Whip

House Majority Whip-Elect Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) announced Thursday that Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina will be Chief Deputy Whip of the House GOP Conference.

Aides close to the situation say Scalise chose McHenry because of his previous experience as a deputy whip over the years and because he’s somebody who can unite the conference.

In a statement, Scalise praised McHenry saying he “has helped lead the charge in holding the Administration accountable. His previous role as Deputy Republican Whip gives him the invaluable experience, insight and judgment to help me lead the Whip Team and bring the Conference together to grow the vote.”

The Chief Deputy Whip role, previously filled by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) -- who lost the Whip race to Scalise -- is an important one within the House GOP Conference. McHenry's primary responsibility will be to direct a team of a few dozen deputies, who help the leadership pass legislation by working their personal relationships with members in order to cajole necessary votes.

McHenry, known around the Hill for his love of seersucker suits, was first elected from North Carolina’s 10th district in 2004. His selection marks the ascendancy of another red state southern Republican into the GOP leadership circle. While McHenry is conservative, he has supported various leadership priorities in the past, including raising the debt limit.

He holds a 96% lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union.