WASHINGTON (CNN) – When House Republicans created a new leadership position so that the enormous freshman class could be represented, top GOP sources said they expected South Dakota's Krisi Noem would get the slot.
But Noem, one of eight newly elected Republican women, now has competition for the elected post from Tim Scott, one of two GOP freshman African-Americans.
Still, anyone who may think this is going to be a bitter fight between two fresh faces for a seat at the leadership table should think again.
In interviews with Noem and Scott, each was remarkably complimentary of the other - almost gushing.
"At the end of the day whether they choose me or Kristi, she's a great young lady. She brings a lot of zest and a lot of fire power to the table, so either way we're going to be in good shape," said Scott.
"Tim Scott is a very good man, so regardless of what the freshman class decides, they'll have some good people to choose from," said Noem.
Both said they have been calling the 80-plus members of the GOP freshman class seeking support.
"I want them to choose the one that's going to be most effective for them that's going to be the strongest voice that draws a line in the sand and puts their foot down to really get things done for the freshman class, and I believe I'd be a good representative to do that," said Noem.
Either way, the House GOP conference would be adding what Republican leaders admit is much needed diversity.
But Scott says that is not part of his pitch to fellow freshmen.
"I haven't talked about race in 15 years in politics, and I'm not going to start now," he said.
Leadership votes will take place late this coming week.