220px-Cory_Gardner,_Official_Portrait,_112th_CongressCory Gardner, not even two years into his freshman Senate term, has been quietly gaining influence in Washington with his levelheadedness and charm.

Now he is looking to take on one of the most prominent and political roles in the US Senate, leadership of the National Republican Senatorial Committee – the organization that supports candidates and fund raises for the most competitive Senate seats in the country – those seats that will dictate the balance of power in the upper chamber.

For Republicans, the 2018 election in the Senate will be huge.  With Democrats having to defend 25 seats and the Republicans only forced to defend eight, Republicans will be looking to take back control of the Senate, or expand their majority for another two years.

Gardner is proposing a co-chairmanship with North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis, an fellow freshman.  The combination could make a lot of sense.  Both men won tough races in purple states in 2014.  Gardner has been reluctant to endorse Donald Trump thus far in the race, but Tillis is one of Trump’s biggest cheerleaders.  So they have both sides covered there. Just to differentiate from Democrats, Republicans invite both viewpoints to the table where establishment Democrats would shut that nonsense down.

The position could help out Gardner in the long run, as he will almost certainly face a tough opponent in his 2020 re-election. Serving as co-chair of the NRSC will afford Gardner the opportunity to forge new relationships with important donors across the country.  Those relationships could prove critical in what is assured to be an expensive re-election battle.