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Who Will Replace All of These Republicans Who Joined the Trump Cabinet?

President-elect Donald Trump
President-elect Donald Trump's selections to his Cabinet will create openings among Republican officeholders. (Reuters photo)

As is almost always the case, President-elect Donald Trump's new Cabinet is drawing in a number of Republicans from other areas of government, which in turn creates new vacancies that will eventually have to be filled.

So, how does that work?

For starters, those vacancies don't materialize until the president-elect's nominees are confirmed by the Senate. With certain exceptions, that won't happen until after the Jan. 20 inauguration.

But here are some of the Republican officeholders who will need to be replaced once they take their new jobs in the Trump White House:

Vice President-elect Mike Pence

The vice president-elect is still the Governor of Indiana until his term expires, at which time his current Lt. Governor, Eric Holcomb, will begin his first term in office. Holcomb was only appointed in March, then became the Indiana GOP's 2016 gubernatorial nominee when Pence ended his reelection bid to become Trump's running mate (state law doesn't allow a person to appear on the ballot twice).

Attorney General-Designate Jeff Sessions

The attorney general-designate is still a U.S. Senator from Alabama until he is confirmed, which is all but assured due to Senate Democrats' decision to engage the "nuclear option" when they retained control of the upper chamber of Congress. Now, a simple majority is needed to end a filibuster, rather than a 60-vote supermajority.

When his seat is vacated, it will be up to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to appoint a successor. The leading contenders are U.S. Rep. Martha Roby, state Attorney General Luther Strange and state Sens. Trip Pittman and Cam Ward.

Secretary of Health and Human Services-Designate Tom Price

Unlike senators, representatives' vacancies must be filled by special election. Price just won re-election in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District, which includes portions of Cobb and Fulton counties north of Atlanta, with nearly 62 percent of the vote. The GOP field to replace him will likely be enormous. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests as many as a dozen candidates are considering a run. Among the frontrunners is Price's wife, Betty, who currently represents their hometown in the Georgia House of Representatives.

Incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus

Although the Chief of Staff isn't technically part of the Cabinet, it is considered a Cabinet-level position in the White House. Priebus, who is currently chairman of the Republican National Committee, isn't an officeholder as such, either. But his position will be vitally important to the future of the GOP. Had Trump lost the election, he likely would've been ousted; with the win and his subsequent appointment, however; the president-elect will select his replacement. There are lots of potential candidates, but among the frontrunners is David Bossie, who left Citizens United to become Trump's deputy campaign manager in August.

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