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House Republicans Start Circling Ryan's Budget Chair

New Jersey Rep. Scott Garrett becomes first to throw his hat in the race to take the reins of the powerful committee — if Ryan wins in November.

Posted on September 13, 2012, at 4:48 p.m. ET

Reuters/Joshua Roberts / Reuters

WASHINGTON – Rep. Scott Garrett Thursday became the first Republican to officially throw his hat in the ring to succeed Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan as House Budget Committee chairman next year if Ryan moves offices down Pennsylvania Ave after November’s election.

Garrett told Buzzfeed Thursday that “we’re anticipating Paul will be successful … [and] when that comes to pass and the opportunity presents itself, I look forward to making the case to my colleagues.”

Garrett, one of the most fiscally conservative members of the House, is the first member to enter what is expected to be a packed race to replace Ryan at the helm of the Budget Committee.

Garrett, who has spent five terms on the committee — including this Congress as the designee of Speaker John Boehner – also headed up the Republican Study Committee’s competing budget push the last two years, and is closely connected to a number of outside conservative groups, including the Heritage Foundation.

Garrett is likely to face stiff competition for the budget slot, most notably from RSC Chairman Jim Jordan, Rep. John Campbell and Rep. Jason Chaffetz — a key surrogate for Mitt Romney in Congress and one of the party’s biggest rising stars.