Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) says he plans to seek the House Judiciary Committee gavel next year.
“I will be running for chairman of the Judiciary Committee,” Collins said at a breakfast meeting hosted by the Ripon Society on Thursday. “Some of you may say, 'Three terms, getting ready for a fourth term, and you're going to run for chairman of the Judiciary Committee?' I think it is about a vision. I think — I think we have a lot of turnover in our committee this year, and what I am putting forward is a vision of saying that there are things in our committee that are ripe for the next real resurgence in our economy."
Collins, who currently serves as the vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, said, if he's elected Judiciary chair, he would focus on issues he believes "will impact the next 40 to 50 years of our economy," citing intellectual property and immigration as areas he feels need to be reformed.
The Judiciary committee is slated to look dramatically different in the 116th Congress, with current Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Reps. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) and Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) all set to leave Congress at the end of their terms.
While the most senior member on the committee behind Goodlatte, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), has already served as chairman, seniority could be Collins's biggest issue in the race.
Chabot is likely to be Collins’s biggest competition in the race.
“[Chabot] is running for chair," a GOP aide with knowledge of the congressman's plans told The Hill, adding it's unclear when he will officially announce his bid.