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Boehner elected House majority leader

WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, has been elected majority leader of the U.S. House.

Boehner was elected Thursday on the second round of voting by the 233-member House Republican caucus, defeating acting Majority Leader Roy Blunt, R-Mo., 122-109.

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The vote could be seen as a step toward reform in the Republican caucus. The vote was made necessary by the resignation of Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, from the leadership post last year after he was indicted on state money laundering charges.

Boehner first made his name in the House as a reformer when, as a freshman congressman, he sought to make public the names of the 355 House members who had overdrafts at the House bank.

Two representatives -- Boehner and John Shadegg, R-Ariz. -- had campaigned to replace Blunt. There were reports Shadegg and Boehner had an agreement in which whoever finished third in the first-ballot voting would withdraw and support the other.

Boehner, 56, is an eight-term congressman from Ohio's 8th District, representing five counties in western Ohio.

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