– U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer was chosen by his House Republican colleagues on Wednesday to lead the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), putting the Minnesota congressman in charge of his party’s effort to retake the U.S. House in 2020.

Emmer was running uncontested. The third-term congressman is now Minnesota’s highest-ranking Republican lawmaker in Washington, following the losses last week of U.S. Reps. Erik Paulsen and Jason Lewis.

The NRCC spent millions trying to hold onto those seats. Republicans did successfully flip two open congressional seats in southern and northeastern Minnesota.

The NRCC recruits candidates, raises funds and helps with campaign strategy for Republican incumbents and challengers. Emmer was previously deputy chairman.

“He hasn’t been in D.C. as long as others, but he’s quickly proven himself and has a lot of great connections,” said Jennifer Carnahan, Minnesota GOP chairwoman. “He has demonstrated strong leadership not only in Minnesota but around the country.”

Emmer, a former talk radio host and state representative, lost his 2010 bid for governor against Democrat Mark Dayton; in 2014, he was elected to replace Michele Bachmann in Congress. Emmer, who lives in Delano, easily won re-election against Democrat Ian Todd in the GOP-leaning Sixth Congressional District.

Maya Rao