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Sugar Land Republican wins GOP leadership post

Sugar Land Republican wins GOP leadership post

Freshman Texas Rep. Pete Olson is off to a fast start at the outset of his second year on Capitol Hill as a member of Congress.

The Sugar Land Republican has been named to the House GOP leadership team as an assistant whip -- one of roughly two dozen lawmakers who track the voting intentions of House Republicans and rally GOP troops for party-line votes on the House floor.

Olson was named to the post by Republican Whip Eric Cantor, R-Va., the second ranking Republican in the House GOP leadership behind House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"It is an honor to be part of a team that is working to empower Americans with a strong economy based on common sense reforms that ensure a limited, yet effective, government," said Olson.

"Under the leadership of John Boehner and Eric Cantor, Republicans are bringing the principals of limited government and fiscal discipline back to Washington. I look forward to being a part of this effort."

Cantor welcomed Olson to the team that manages Republicans' legislative program on the House floor and works to achieve GOP unity.

"I am pleased to appoint Congressman Pete Olson to the position of assistant whip on the House Republican Whip Team," Cantor said.

"In just his first year in Congress, Pete has demonstrated himself to be a valuable voice in our (Republican) conference," Cantor continued. "The Whip Team plays an important role in directing the Republican Conference and as we begin the second session of the 111th Congress, I plan to draw extensively on Pete's bright new leadership."

Olson is no newcomer on Capitol Hill. The former Navy pilot and Navy liaison to lawmakers served on the Senate staffs of Sens. Phil Gramm, R-College Station, and John Cornyn, R-San Antonio, before resigning and returning to Texas to challenge then-Rep. Nick Lampson, R-Stafford, for the House seat.

Olson, a graduate of Rice University and University of Texas law school, won his seat in 2008, returning the seat to the Republican ranks a congressional seat that had been held by then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, for 21 years.