WASHINGTON -- House Republicans have elected a woman to a top leadership post after the GOP suffered double-digit losses among female voters in last week's election.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans chose Washington state congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers for the fourth-ranking spot in the House Republican leadership in the Congress that opens in January.

McMorris Rodgers defeated congressman Tom Price of Georgia. He is a favorite among conservatives like Mitt Romney's presidential running mate, Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan.

The race for the obscure post carried big symbolism as the GOP recovered from Romney's loss to President Barack Obama. An exit poll by The Associated Press and television networks showed that women voted for Democrats by an 11-point margin in the presidential and generic congressional races.

Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon was named chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The appointment to the position announced by his office on Tuesday puts Walden in charge of efforts to elect more Republicans to the U.S. House of Representatives. He has served the last four years as deputy chairman of the committee.

Read or Share this story: